Toronto Goes Barefoot to End the Bear Bile Industry
TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Local personalities bared their feet in Toronto today to kick off a campaign to end the cruel treatment of bears.
The event, at Elixir Organic Spa in Toronto, raised awareness about the thousands of bears that are suffering in captivity in bear bile facilities across Asia. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) invited guests to get a pedicure and donate the amount they would normally spend on it to help save bears. Members of the public are encouraged to donate and funds raised will be used to help eradicate the practice, which is considered one of the worst forms of animal cruelty in the world.
Since the 1980s, bears have been kept in captivity in some Asian countries (particularly Vietnam, Korea, China, Laos and Myanmar) in order to extract their bile for sale in traditional medicines and other products. Many cheaper and equally effective herbal alternatives exist.
In 2005, WSPA was invited by the Vietnam Government to work on a strategy to phase out the bear bile industry, which they had just made illegal. As a result, the number of bears caught up in the bear bile industry has declined by almost 50% (from 4,500 in 2005 to 2,300 in 2013) but despite this and growing public support for better bear welfare, on the ground investigations show an illicit market for bear bile persists.
"Conditions at bear factory farms are brutal. The majority of bears are
forced to live in tiny cages - not much bigger than themselves. They
endure appalling conditions and repeated extraction procedures, leaving
them scarred mentally and physically for the duration of their lives,
which could be up to 20 years",
- Josey Kitson, Executive Director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals in Canada.
"We're proud to support WSPA and to help bears. Hosting this event for high profile Torontonians will go a long way to
raising awareness and funds for WSPA's great work to help bears. We
hope everybody goes barefoot for bears! Canadians can get involved and
make a real impact."
- Lynn Shulman, Founder of Elixir Organic Spa
- Thought by some to cure hangovers, help treat liver and heart disease and even cancer, bear bile is now unnecessarily added to non-medical products like energy drinks, toothpaste and shampoo.
- The inhumane methods used to extract bear bile cause extreme pain and trauma to bears.
- Recently, 110,000 Vietnamese citizens signed a pledge never to use bear bile products.
- For more information or to donate visit www.wspa.ca/bearbile
- To learn more about the work of WSPA, visit www.wspa.ca follow us on Twitter or 'Like' us on Facebook.
About the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
The World Society for the Protection of Animals has worked to expose animal cruelty and prevent animal suffering for more than 30 years. Working with individuals, organizations and governments across the globe, our campaign work ranges from putting animals at the heart of farming to protecting animals in disasters. Consultative status with the United Nations means we have a unique international platform to prove that the lives of animals are inextricably linked to our own, and now more than ever is the time to stop their suffering. For more information, visit us at www.wspa.ca; follow us on Twitter or 'Like' us on Facebook.
About Elixir Organic Spa
After more than seven years in business Elixir Organic Spa has become the destination for people from all walks of life who want to experience truly healing and therapeutic treatments without chemicals. Elixir serves many clients who simply cannot go to conventional spas due to allergies, skin sensitivities or various autoimmune skin conditions. With a Zero Chemicals Policy, all skin care products are made with 100% food-grade organic ingredients and not tested on animals. For more information, visit us at www.elixirspa.ca, follow us on Twitter or 'Like' us on Facebook.
SOURCE World Society for the Protection of AnimalsFor further information:
416-968-7311 ext. 249