Teddy Bear News

Bear Protection Act
Author: teddygirl | Wednesday May 07, 2008

The following is from Defenders of Wildlife, an organization that protects all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities.

Bear gallbladders and other parts are used in traditional Asian medicines to treat a variety of ailments. Although accepted alternatives exist, increasing demand for bear parts has created a lucrative black market.

As Asian bear populations decline, poachers are taking aim at bears in the U.S. to keep up with demand. While more than 30,000 bears are hunted legally each year in the U.S., an equal or greater number are killed illegally by poachers.

Poachers target hibernating bears in their dens and even track radio-collared bears that are part of scientific studies. And law enforcement agents report grisly findings: bear carcasses left in the woods with only the gallbladder and other parts removed.

Although most states currently ban the trade in bear parts, many states still do not. This complex mesh of laws creates an enforcement nightmare and often allows poachers to launder illegal bear parts through states that permit their sale.

H.R. 5534 (the Bear Protection Act), sponsored by Reps. Raul Grijalva and John Campbell, is bipartisan legislation that would establish a federal ban on the import, export and interstate trade in bear parts like gallbladders, putting an end to a patchwork of state laws and loopholes that make it easy to get away with bear poaching.

For more information, visit Defenders of Wildlife\'s website.

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