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Wildlife group raises alarm over Asia's bear trade

Kuala Lumpur - At least 2,800 bears in Asia were traded for their parts over the past decade, according to a report issued Thursday by an anti-wildlife trafficking group.

The figure was arrived at after analysing nearly 700 bear-related seizures, and it likely represents a fraction of the overall number of bears affected by the trade, said the Traffic report.

Cross-border trade of live bears and their parts and derivatives violates national laws throughout Asia, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Bears are traded for many reasons, including to stock bile farms and as exotic pets or tourist attractions, the report said.

"Bears are also trafficked for their parts, meat, skins and trophies, while their gall bladders and bile are used to manufacture traditional medicines," it added.

The bear-related seizures in the study occurred in Cambodia, 190; China, 145; Vietnam, 102; Russia, 59; Malaysia, 38; Thailand, 29; Laos, 29; and India, 23, the report added.

DPA


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