Vietnamese police arrest man carrying hundreds of bear bile bottles

Portrait of brown bear looking slightly up, animal news
Brown bear, photo: Canva

Vietnamese police have arrested a bear owner in Hanoi after finding hundreds of bottles with bear bile, wildlife protection organisation Education for Nature said Friday.

Hanoi police arrested the man from the suburban Phuc Tho district, a prime location for bear farms, while he was carrying 350 bottles of bile fluid. It is the biggest seizure of bear bile ever recorded in Vietnam, Education for Nature said.

The arrested man owned seven bears and was caught transporting the bottles in his car. “This is the first time a bear owner in Hanoi has been arrested and examined for criminal responsibility for the illegal transport and trade of bear bile,” Bui Thi Ha, head of Education for Nature, said in a statement.

Bears are kept in small cages at bear farms to drain bile from their gallbladder. In 2005, authorities outlawed bile extraction in Vietnam, but bear farms could keep the animals they already had.

People convicted of extracting bile can face prison sentences of up to five years. Education for Nature said there were close to 150 caged bears kept at properties in Hanoi.

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