FACTS about the bear bile business from Traffic Southeast Asia and other sources:
> Malaysia is ranked at No.4 of 17 countries surveyed as a key source and consumer of bear parts and derivatives.
All bear bile, whether local or imported, is illegal in Malaysia. But 175 of 365 traditional medicine shops (48%) in every state in Malaysia had bear bile openly for sale according to a survey by Traffic in 2012. Nobody has ever been punished for this.
> In Peninsular Malaysia, the sun bear has total protection under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, and anyone who hunts, keeps or trades it without a special permit can be punished with a fine up to RM100,000 or jail up to three years, or both.
> In addition, under the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008, someone possessing bear bile can be fined up to an aggregate of RM1mil, or up to seven years jail, or both.
> The trade in bear bile in China is worth about US$250mil (RM1bil) It’s even used as an ingredient in mundane stuff like shampoo and skin creams. Apart from animal cruelty, it may become a political issue (that embarrasses China), according to Hong Kong scientist Dr Feng Yibin.
> Seizures and raids by the Wildlife Department in Malaysia have been increasing. In August 2016, dozens of bear parts (teeth, claws, gall bladders, etc) were seized in raids in Peninsular Malaysia. In the same month in Sabah, two men were arrested for trying to sell bear parts. In October 2016, a man in Pahang was arrested for trying to sell a sun bear online.
> Sun bears are being hunted and killed in Sarawak and Sabah. Two sun bear carcasses were found disembowelled with both paws chopped off in the Kulamba Wildlife Reserve in eastern Sabah in 2015.
> In the Belum-Temengor forests of northern Perak, sun bears have been found (dead or still living) with limbs caught in snares.
Some are seen missing a limb, which would have probably been crushed in traps.
Almost 50% of traditional medicine shops in every state in Malaysia had bear bile openly for sale according to a Traffic survey in 2012.