22 Feb '12, 7am

China company opens bear bile farm to media

BEIJING (AFP) - A traditional Chinese medicine company at the heart of an angry Internet campaign accusing it of violating animal welfare opened one of its controversial bear bile farms to journalists on Wednesday. Bear bile has long been used in China to treat various health problems, despite scepticism over its effectiveness and outrage over the bile extraction process, which animal rights group say is excruciatingly painful for bears. The Guizhentang pharmaceutical company in the south-eastern province of Fujian last year announced plans to raise millions of dollars through a stock exchange listing in order to increase production of the bile. But the announcement sparked a noisy Internet campaign against the listing that brought into question the medical effectiveness of the bile and the cruel manner in which it is extracted from living bears. According to a Guizhentang...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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