As an important part of ENV’s ongoing targeted campaign to end bear farming in Vietnam, the bear team conducted various activities last week in Quynh Luu district – A bear farming hotspot in Nghe An province. Major activities include meeting with local leaders and authorities, running a middle school program, and holding market exhibits to raise local awareness and encourage people to stop bear farming.
Hundred local school children involved enthusiastically in the exhibit, signed pledge cards as to say no to bear bile, shared ideas and brought posters to their families. “I once saw bear bile extraction, and I think it is terribly wrong and cruel. Many bears die in misery due to the selfishness of humans. Bear bile extraction and sale are both illegal activities. The government should impose strict punishments to stop these acts,” said a little girl.
Local leaders and authorities believe that awareness raising activities play a crucial role in helping end bear farming. While we may not see immediate effects, our efforts are gradually changing local people’s attitudes towards bear farming. When farmers are finally convinced that bear farming is illegal, cruel, dangerous, and increasingly less profitable, they will stop doing the wrong thing.
We were happy to hear from the leaders of four communes in Quynh Luu district that the overall number of bears in the region is decreasing (32 bears remain in 16 farms in three communes and one commune no longer has any bear farm). We do hope Quynh Luu will soon no longer be a bear farming hotspot at all.