By Michelle McGuinness
More and more Chinese, especially young people, are calling out cruel practices, such as bear bile farming, in China.
Bile extracted from caged bears. Stray animals abused and neglected. Sharks' fins lopped off for soup.
Most people's perception of China's animal rights record is as grim as the fates of some of the animals living there. But a movement has quietly risen to challenge that.
"'Animal welfare' was a foreign term," Peter Li, who works in China for Humane Society International, told MSN News in an e-mail. "It is now a well-known concept in China."
In February, China Daily reported that the China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine said at a press conference that "the process of extracting bear bile was as easy, natural and painless as turning on a tap. After the operation was done, bears went out to play happily."
Bear bile is used in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes, such as preventing gallstones, but experts disagree over whether it works.
After the association's comments, a video went viral in China showing a much less sunny version of the bile extraction process. Animals Asia says the practice is cruel and invasive.
"Over the years, the campaign against bear bile farming has often been a sensitive one, but today it is clear that the issue is finally mainstream and even schools are engaged and involved, with support and numbers growing all the time," Animals Asia Founder and CEO Jill Robinson said in a statement. More....