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by Joan Reddy
Categories: Animals, Causes.

Microsoft has joined with Animals Asia to fight bear bile farming in China, by developing the stunning new educational interactive website, ‘Exploring Moon Bears.’ The IT giant donated its time, expertise, and resources with the intention of educating millions of children about the plight of China’s moon bears, and the work of Animals Asia.

Microsoft was introduced to Animals Asia by Logic Design who had worked with Animals Asia on its 15th anniversary celebrations in China. They were looking for a project to showcase Internet Explorer 11’s capabilities and were visibly moved by a visit to Animals Asia’s sanctuary in Chenghu China where 140 bears rescued from China’s bear bile industry are currently being cared for,” says Animal Asia’s founder and CEO Jill Robinson, MBE.

Animals Asia is a foundation and sanctuary, that works to end the barbaric bear bile farming trade, and improve the welfare of animals in China and Vietnam. Currently, over 10,000 bears – mainly moon bears, but also sun bears and brown bears – are kept on bile farms in East and South East Asia, and another 2,400 bears are held in Vietnam. The bears under the direct care of Animals Asia are the Asiatic black bears, a threatened species also known as the moon bear, and recognized for their distinctive white crescent that arcs across their chest.

The bears that are held captive in the bile industry are often trapped in very small cages, were they are unable to stand, and can only turn around with great difficulty. The bears are in such severe distress that they spend endless hours butting their heads against the extraction cages, or gnawing on their limbs.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), explains that the extraction process of bear bile is usually performed by untrained factory workers, not by professional veterinarians. The method most commonly used is to insert a tube leading into the gall bladder allowing bile to be extracted. In order to prevent the tube from closing, the abdominal wound is reopened up to three times a day. Sometimes, ultrasound equipment is used instead, in order to locate the gall bladder, before a syringe is inserted deep into the bear’s body to extract the bile. Other times, bears are caged, left to reach a certain age and killed. The bile is then extracted once the bear is dead. If the bears do not die immediately after the first two methods, they suffer from open wounds, tumors, abscesses, gallstones, and other related illnesses. Bears who stop producing bile after a few years, are left to die, or are killed for their paws or gall bladder.

The best way to stop the bear bile trade is by educating future generations about the atrocities that are performed on these bears. As Robinson explains “Education is the key to changing the world and ensuring that people know the cruelty and illegality behind bile farming,”

Wei Qing, Microsoft Windows and Surface Business GroupLead says that, “Microsoft is unwavering to charity development. We are more than pleased to collaborate with Animals Asia in co-launching the ‘Exploring Moon Bears’ website which fully leverages leading technology in IE11 and appeals to a larger audience to join and stop bear bile faming through a more vivid and interactive online experience.”

There are Chinese and English language versions available of ‘Exploring Moon Bears’. The site showcases features from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 11, but can work across all browsers on PCs and tablets.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Joan Reddy

Joan Reddy is a professional photographer, writer, animal rights activist, and environmentalist. Joan holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University, in Toronto, where her thesis focused on Animal Rights. Through her writing, Joan wants to help to educate the public about the way animals are abused and exploited, in cultures around the world. Joan is also founder and president of the Federal registered non-profit organization "International Communication for Animal Justice." Her organization's website can be found at www.internationalcommunicationforanimaljustice.org, and her professional profile on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/pub/joan-reddy/22/999/449.

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