Expansion of Bear Bile Production by Chinese Firm?

blog from The Wall Street Journal notes that Gui Zhen Tang Co., one of China’s largest bear bile production facilities and southern China’s largest bear farm, recently raised $11 million to expand its business in the traditional medicine market. An article in the UK’s Telegraph notes that local media reports of the company’s plans to be listed on the stock exchange in the southern province of Fujian has led to  a significant and spontaneous backlash in the form of thousands of angry tweets and micro-blog postings.

“The angry reaction to the reports of Gui Zhen Tang’s listing shows how attitudes are changing in the minds of the Chinese public,” said Jill Robinson, founder of Animals Asia. “It has been a spontaneous reaction, not organized by interest groups like us. That is a clear sign that China’s public is waking up to this cruelty.”

The Bush Warriors blog says Gui Zhen Tang currently keeps around 470 bears at their 500 acre facility in Fujian province and then harvests and processes the bear bile for medicine and other products like shampoo, tea and wine. It notes that if the company’s request to enter the stock market is approved, the Gui Zhen Tang intends to expand its operations to 1,200 Asiatic black bears.