Monday, November 15, 2004

Now I Know Where the Term "Chinese Torture" Comes From


The results of an extensive undercover investigation into China’s cruel bear bile farms by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) were revealed in a new report discussed at the recent meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Nairobi, Kenya.WSPA’s report, Inside China’s Torture Chambers, documents how thousands of bears are kept in horrific conditions in hundreds of farms across China, producing approximately 7000 kg of bear bile every year for the traditional Chinese medicine market.WSPA fears that China will apply to register some of its bear farms with CITES (none currently registered), thereby circumventing the existing international ban on trade in endangered bear parts. Bears from facilities approved by the CITES Secretariat can have their parts sold in global commercial trade while wild bears of the same species ostensibly are protected from such profitable exploitation. Such a move would hasten the demise of bears in the wild, with many taken from the wild each year to restock the farms, and encourage the continued development of this barbaric form of “farming.”The bears kept on these farms endure the most appalling levels of cruelty and neglect, with many wounded and scarred due to the friction caused by being kept in tiny metal cages suspended above the ground. They have no choice but to lie squashed in their cages on a bed of bars, some with a constant stream of bile seeping from their stomachs, where an open wound allows workers to insert a tube or piece of metal to “tap” the bile twice a day. Bears may stop producing bile after just a few years, after which they outlive their usefulness and are left to die or killed for their paws and gall bladders. A single bear paw may sell for several hundred dollars - almost a year’s salary for the average worker in China.

taken from http://www.awionline.org/pubs/Quarterly/Summer2000/torturechamber.htm

Not to endlessly attack Chinese culture or anything, but Chinese culture is notoriously cruel to the animal kingdom. Many Chinese herbal remedies incorporate ingredients like Rhinoceros horn (which is ground into a powder and is taken to invigorate flacid erections). The entire animal is then killed just for its horn and the rest is discarded. Bear bile/gall bladders are also considered to possess medicinal use. Shark-Fin Soup, Turtle Soup, wild and Birds-Nest Soup are all considered delicacies-- no doubt cruel acquired tastes. Even during the SARS outbreak of 2003-2004, the Chinese government rounded up thousands of civets (a species similar to the cat) and electrocuted, gassed and beat them to death for potentially carrying the virus.

a link discussing current Chinese (human) torture practices by the government: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engASA170042001?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIES%5CCHINA

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