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19 rare bears rescued from bear bile farm in Vietnam

Published 01/22/2010, Associated Press

Bear bile has been used for thousands of years in Asia to treat fevers, pain, inflammation and many other ailments. In the 1980s, China began promoting bear farms as a way to discourage poaching. The bears were housed in small cages, and the green bitter fluid was sucked from their gall bladders using crude catheters, sometimes creating pus-filled abscesses or internal bile leakage. Many bears die slowly from infections or liver ailments, including cancer.

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