Current response of the profession
• The Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM), the leading UK professional body dealing with the registration and standards of practitioners of Chinese herbal medicine, strictly prohibits the use of bear bile.
• Dr Sun Ji Xian of The Chinese Association of Preventative Medicine, Beijing, China, confirmed “We definitely do not have to use bear bile as it can be replaced by herbs, which are cheaper too”.
• Dr Jidong Wu, President of the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (UK), Middlesex University, declared “On Behalf of the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (UK), the largest Traditional Chinese Medicine organisation in Britain. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly state that ATCM strictly condemn and prohibit the use of bear bile by TCM practitioners in treatment regardless of illness. This is based on the grounds that we believe the process of extracting bear bile to be inhumane and therefore unethical, especially it is against the general principle and Law of Traditional Chinese Medicine i.e. emphasis on keeping the balance between mankind and nature. There is no need for stretching to such an extreme measure to obtain a purely exotic sounding substance from an already endangered species, when there are countless other available alternatives.”
• Angela Ying Tu, President of the National Federation of Chinese TCM Organizations, U.S.A said, “The video that you played brought tears to my eyes...To use Chinese medicine as one of the excuses to torture and kill bears or any other animals is against the basic principle of Chinese medicine, which stresses that the well-being of mankind depends on maintaining the harmony within our own body, and maintaining the harmony between man and the universe. Animals are our co-habitants of the Earth, and their well-being sustains ours. Killing them to treat human diseases is not only inhumane, but in many ways will affect the environments that are so essential to the health and development of mankind.”
• Lixin Huang, President, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, at the 8th Congress of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (2011) said, “We ask bear farmers not to use the excuse of traditional medicine as a reason for farming bears, because we do not need bear bile to save patients lives.” (AND) “the legitimate practice of Chinese medicine has been confused with commercial interests selling folk remedies and cosmetics, as well as the traffic of endangered species. These are not saving people's lives but selling fancy gifts and don't have much to do with medical practice at all.” (AND) “Concerning the old belief that endangered species will be useful for health or longevity — if animals suffer or die, how can they benefit people's health? We do not need to follow old beliefs or traditions since they don't support the benefit of healthy wildlife and healthy planet. To preserve resources for years to come, as well as the international reputation of Chinese medicine, we must continue collaboration with environmental conservation initiatives and adopt practices that prioritise sustainability and the protection of endangered species.”