False claims of COVID-19 cure by bear bile manufacturers

KaiBao Pharmaceuticals, China’s largest manufacturer of bear bile products, is marketing what it claims to be a cure for coronavirus. The medicine includes bear bile, which is a common and controversial ingredient of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The company is also promoting an injection of TanReQing, which contains bear bile and is said to reduce inflammation, but has long been a drug that concerns the Chinese Health Authority due to dangerous side effects. TanReQing is listed in the Top Ten dangerous drugs by the National China Drug Administration.

It’s estimated that more than 10,000 bears are farmed for their bile in Asia, caged in extreme confinement, without space to even turn around for up to 30 years. The bears suffer immense pain during the regular extraction of bile from their gall bladders, and the industry is widely and globally condemned.

The promotion of bear bile by KaiBao has a bitter irony, as the cause of COVID-19 is known to be rooted in the exploitation of wildlife – a category into which the extraction of bear bile clearly falls.

On 24 February 2020, ACTAsia applauded China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) when it passed a ban on the eating of wildlife in China, but the list of wild animals falls short of many species categorised as ‘livestock’. The ban must now extend to all other uses of wild animal to make it comprehensive, including the use of animals bred for fur, TCM, entertainment and experiments.

ACTAsia urges China’s National People’s Congress to place a permanent ban on breeding, eating and trading in all wildlife for all commercial purposes. If we are to avoid future outbreaks of coronavirus and similar diseases, it is essential that we stop commercial exploitation of all wildlife immediately.

No cure exists for COVID-19 to-date, and it is likely that the nearest we will come to one is a vaccination, which is currently being developed. There is no evidence whatsoever that bear bile is effective in treating coronavirus.

“These claims are selfish profiteering and extremely dangerous,” commented Pei Su, ACTAsia CEO. “Across the world, admirable health professionals are collaborating and sharing scientific evidence to beat coronavirus, risking their own lives for the greater good. These trusted professionals have our best interests at heart. It’s abhorrent that bear bile manufacturers have jumped on the back of this tragedy, by playing on people’s fears with dollar-signs in their eyes.”

Please help us to close legal loopholes and secure a permanent ban on the commercial exploitation of wildlife for ALL purposes in China.

You can sign our petition here so that together we can prevent future outbreaks of COVID-19.

If you’ve signed already, please consider a donation to take our petition further, and support our campaign to educate children, consumers and professionals in China to live more compassionate lives.