These videos are part of a long-term campaign from the Vietnamese organisation Education for Nature (ENV). In general there aim is to foster greater understanding amongst the Vietnamese public about the need to protect nature and wildlife. The campaign in this blogpost is about the cruelty of the illegal bear bile industry. Bears are kept in captivity to harvest their bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder.
In Vietnam, bear bile has been used as a traditional medicine to treat bruises and other ailments for generations, but its use poses a critical threat to bear populations. In 2005, more than 4,300 bears were in captivity for bile extraction. Even though the number of captive bears has dropped to approximately 1,250 (as of early 2015), and the demand for bear bile has decreased 61% (according to a 2014 study), the work to protect bears and end bear farming is far from over.
Well-known Vietnamese dancer Tuyet Minh appeared in one of the TV spots, see above. The Vietnamese organisation has asked many other celebrities to take part in their campaign against the bear bile cruelty. See them below.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, ENV’s Vice Director:
In order to end the cruel and illegal bear bile industry, the Vietnamese public must stop consuming bear bile. Advances in medicine over the past several decades have lowered costs and improved treatments. It’s time for people to put their trust in modern medicine and stop believing in old myths.
The direct question to the viewer in these TV spots is reporting all illegal activities from the bear bile industry to the police or a dedicated telephone number.
This is how the cruelty sounds: