China's use of bile in treatment can spur illegal bear trade - M'sian conservationist

Darshini Kandasamy

Modified 16 Apr 2020, 5:23 am

CORONAVIRUS | Recent reports of China promoting the use of bear bile in the treatment of coronavirus have raised the alarm that this could ignite illegal bear trade and further threaten the species in other countries, including sun bears in Malaysia.

This despite the fact no evidence exists that any current medicine can prevent or cure Covid-19, which has to date sickened over a million people and killed over 52,000 globally.

The move comes just a month after China, where the viral outbreak began, had taken steps to criminalise the consumption and trade of wildlife. The wild meat trade is largely believed to have caused the spread of the zoonotic disease in the first place.

Sabah’s Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) chief executive officer Wong Siew Te said the treatment Tan Re Qing - an injection containing bear bile typically used to treat bronchitis and upper respiratory infections - is only legal in China.

This is due to the medicine being produced using bile harvested from legal bear farms...

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