Thai star urges Vietnam to end the cruelty of bear farming

Saturday, 2018-06-30 18:39:24
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Thai celebrity Tono (L) and famous local writer Tran Thu Trang (R) join ENV activities to promote bear protection in Vietnam.
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NDO - Famous Thai star Tono Pakin Kumwilaisuk has called on Vietnam to promote action aimed at putting an end to bear farming in the country.

The celebrity arrived in Vietnam to participate in a bear protection exhibition organised by the Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) on June 30.

At the exhibition, the Thai star and famous local writer Tran Thu Trang were informed about the threat to bears in Vietnam. Tono and Trang also joined locals to sign commitments, contributing to efforts to protect bears in the country.

Earlier, the actor/singer had a talk with representatives from Hai Phong Forest Protection Department about the efforts to end bear farming in Vietnam, before making visits to several bear farms in Phuc Tho district in Hanoi.

"There are no borders in protecting wildlife in general and protecting bears in particular. So I hope to use my influence, to join all people to protect bears and improve the welfare of animals, not only in Vietnam but all over the world," Tono said.

Painting pictures calling for bear protection.

Bear protection in Vietnam is showing positive signs of improvement. On June 27, a bear raising household in Tien Giang agreed to transfer five of their captive bears to rescue centres in the near future. From the beginning of 2018, six bears in Lam Dong, Ho Chi Minh City, Ninh Binh and Can Tho have been voluntarily transferred to rescue centres for a better life. Especially, Ninh Binh and Can Tho officially put their names on the list of zero bear farming localities across Vietnam, raising the total number of localities on this list to 22.

In 2005, more than 4,300 bears were found to be illegally kept on farms throughout the country. As of the end of April this year, the number of captive bears has dropped to 851 at about 250 farms. In particular, more and more bear owners have made positive changes in their minds and supported efforts to end bear farming in Vietnam by voluntarily handing the bears over to the State. The community is also turning its back on the use of bear bile, a significant contribution to bear protection in Vietnam.

Tono visits several bear farms in Hanoi’s Phuc Tho district.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, Deputy Director of ENV, the first wildlife protection NGO in the country, said that growing numbers of celebrities are supporting the efforts to end bear farming and convey the message of a better future for bears in Vietnam.

However, more efforts should be made in raising public awareness of the cruelty of bear farming to eliminate outdated ideas about the effects of bear bile and put an end to bear farming, which will make it possible for bear populations in the wild to recover, Dung added.

* Thai celebrity to arrive Vietnam for bear protection event