Channel NewsAsia

Singapore part of key trade route for bear bile products

Singapore accounted for 23 of the 694 cases of seizures of bears and bear products between 2000 and 2011 from 17 Asian countries or territories.

SINGAPORE: A report by an international group monitoring wildlife trade showed that Singapore is part of a key international trade route for bear bile products and has a well-developed domestic market.

In its report released on Thursday (Aug 21), Traffic examined 694 cases of seizures of bears and bear products between 2000 and 2011 from 17 Asian countries or territories.

Singapore accounted for 3 per cent or 23 of the seizures.

During that period, at least 2,800 bears were traded, with the majority of seizures involving Cambodia (27 per cent), China (21 per cent) and Vietnam (15 per cent).

The report said the high demand for medicine containing bear bile could have driven the trade in Asia. Bears are commonly traded for their meat and skin, or for making traditional medicine with their gall bladders and bile.

Responding to queries, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said it was aware of Traffic’s report and was studying it.

Adding that most species of bears are highly endangered and protected under the Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species Of Wild Fauna And Flora, or CITES, the authority said trade in bears and their bile products for primarily commercial purposes is generally prohibited.

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