It has also resulted in bears being farmed for their bile- kept alive in appalling conditions on bear farms and having their bile painfully extracted. Tigers too are beginning to be farmed in terrible conditions in China for their bones and other parts to be made into tonics and potions. You can read more about the bear bile industry and the cruelty of bear farming here.
Today, bears, tigers and rhinoceroses are protected by international laws and treaties and the international trade in their parts is mostly banned. Most countries have domestic laws too prohibiting the sale of these animal parts. In Singapore it is illegal to import, sell, own, or advertise for sale any bear, tiger or rhinoceros parts.
Many TCM practitioners worldwide are shunning the use of endangered wild animal parts and using herbal alternatives instead. However, there remains a thriving black market for wild animal parts for use in TCM, and endangered species parts can sell for very high prices.
ACRES campaigns to end the use of wild animal parts in TCM by:
- Conducting undercover investigations and exposing any illegal trading of wild animal parts by TCM shops in Singapore, ensuring perpetrators of these crimes are brought to task.
- Working together with the TCM industry on the ACRES and STOC Endangered-Species Friendly Labelling Scheme, which encourages shops to not trade in endangered species.
- Holding public awareness campaigns.