Journal of Biodiversity & Endangered Species

ISSN: 2332-2543

Open Access

Do Consumers Prefer Wild, Farmed Bear Bile or Substitutes?


Zhao Liu, Zhigang Jiang, Hongxia Fang, Chunwang Li and Zhibin Meng

Bear bile, as a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has been used by TCM practitioners for millennia. Currently, there are arguments about bear farming as a tool for the conservation of wild bear. We designed questionnaires and surveyed citizens and college students in Beijing to elicit their perceptions and preferences toward wild or farmed bear bile and their substitutes. We found that most of students (57.37%) and citizens (38.99%) preferred substitutes rather than wild or farmed bear bile, due to “conservation of wild bears” and “cruelty in bile extraction from farmed bears”. Furthermore, under certain conditions, price and curative effects could be influential factors that alter purchase decisions of interviewees, and wild bear bile can be totally substituted by cheap and effective synthetic substitutes. So the success of a policy of “supply-side conservation” remains certain under the right conditions. The public of Beijing has recognized the importance of wildlife protection and their growing moral responsibilities for nonhuman animals might help reduce the threat to wild animals from medical needs.


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