Bad News for Bear Bile Farmer

Six black bears, kept by Han Shigen for "free-dripping" (a technique by which bile drips out through holes opened in the animals' abdomens with catheters surgically implanted into their gall bladders)attacked him as he was cleaning their pen.

"The ill-fated man died on the spot and was eaten up by the ferocious bears," said the Beijing News. Police sent to the scene of Monday's killing injected one of the bears with tranquilizers "but failed to tame the mad animal." Police then threw meat into the bears' pen to distract them so they could recover Han's remains.

More than 200 farms in China keep about 7,000 bears to tap their bile, which traditional Chinese medicine holds can cure fever, liver illness and sore eyes. Bear farming was far more prevelent before the cruelty, which the Chinese are free to perpetuate against themselves, came to light and Beijing introduced regulations 1993.

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