A state-owned horticulture and landscaping company in southern China, Flower World farm, has agreed to give the 130 bears used in its bear bile operation into the custody of the Animals Asia Foundation.

130 bears at Flower World Farm freed by Animals Asia.

Bears at Flower World Farm. (Photo: Animals Asia)

    The bears have been kept in tiny cages—some for up to 30 years—and milked for their bile, which is used in traditional Chinese medicines.

    Bile is obtained by cutting a hole in a bear’s stomach so fluid can drip from the gall bladder. The holes are left open, leading to infection and disease.

    Their health issues include blindness, dental problems and untreated wounds. In early May, 28 of the sickest bears will be transported to Animals Asia’s facility in the city of Chengdu for urgent medical treatment.

    Under the terms of the deal, Animals Asia will rehab the farm facility where the bears have been kept and turn it into a sanctuary.

    There are around 10,000 bears in farms in China.