China delegate: bear bile farming is “cruel”

A delegate to China’s parliament has brought a proposal to phase out the farming of bear bile, used in traditional Chinese medicine, reported Reuters on Thursday.
"People say this is an ancient Chinese traditional form. But in the past, the methods of extracting bear bile were very different," Zhou Ping said on the sidelines of a provincial group meeting for the southwestern province of Sichuan.
Current methods are cruel, said Zhou, and cause undue suffering for the estimated 7,000 bears on farms around the country.
Zhou thinks such practices are also hurting the image of China’s traditional medicine industry and says substitutes made from herbs have similar healing properties.