PETITION TARGET: National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China
In a disappointing step backward for animal rights and human health, China’s National Health Commission is recommending an injection containing bear bile as a treatment for COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) insists there is currently no cure for coronavirus, yet Chinese bear bile promotion continues, perpetuating cruelty to bears in China
Bear bile farming in China is torturous for the animals. Bears harvested for their bile are subjected to excruciating and invasive extraction methods, including cutting a hole in their bodies and forcing a metal tube through the wound. Kept in cramped cages, they suffer from starvation, dehydration, infection, and other untreated medical problems. China’s bear bile farms, like live animal markets, are potential environments for bacterial infections and zoonotic diseases, which “make the jump” from animals to humans.
Treating a Zoonotic Disease with Animal Byproducts Is Contradictory & Inhumane
Shockingly, Tan Re Qing, a medication that includes bear bile, is recommended on a government-sponsored list of suggested coronavirus treatments. China is supposed to be curbing their wildlife trade because of its link to spreading zoonotic disease. Chinese bear bile farming directly contradicts that effort.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, which started as a result of poor animal welfare standards, China’s bear bile industry must end. By recommending bear bile as a COVID-19 treatment, the government is encouraging cruelty to bears in China and prolonging the wildlife trade, which poses a global health risk.
China’s current wildlife protection laws treat wild animals as resources to be exploited for human benefit. In 2016, the country further legitimized their cruel wildlife trade, insisting the commercialization of wild animals is normal and necessary. It’s not. Wild animals belong in the wild, and harvesting their organs, body parts, and fluids for “science” puts the entire world at risk.
As has been shown with the global coronavirus pandemic, treating animals poorly leads to health problems for people.
China has made tremendous progress with its recent ban on wildlife consumption, but we must implore them to broaden their scope and end all wild animal exploitation. It’s time to put an end to cruelty to bears and all animals throughout the country.
Sign this petition urging China’s National Health Commission to remove Tan Re Qing from its list of recommended coronavirus treatments and to ban the use of all wild animals in medicine, including bear bile farming in China.