Friday, 22 June 2012 19:30

Bill to Prohibit Commercial Trade in Bear Parts in Hawaii is Signed into Law Featured

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Born Free USA initiative signals strong step toward protecting bears globally

Washington D.C., July 19, 2012 -- Hawaii made great strides to protect bears when Governor Neil Abercrombie signed SB 2232/HB 2296 into law last Friday. The bill was spearheaded by Born Free USA and introduced by state Senator Clayton Hee (D- Kahuku, Laie, Kaaawa and Kaneohe) and Representatives Wooley, Lee, Nishimoto, Rhoads, and Keith-Agaran. SB 2322/HB 2296 makes it illegal to purchase, sell, transport or deliver bear gallbladders or bile, or any product, item or substance containing, labeled or advertised as containing bear gallbladder or bile.

According to Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, “Hawaii was one of only five states that lacked comprehensive legislation to limit the trade in bear parts. Overexploitation of wildlife through national and global trade is a major concern. Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Hee and Rep. Wooley, an important bill to combat what continues to be one of the most dangerous threats to bears on the mainland, has passed. This signals a strong step toward protecting bears on a global level.”

Hundreds of bears suffer every year to supply the market for bear gall bladders and bile, which are part of some traditional Chinese medicine practices. Although more than 54 alternatives to bear bile exist for Chinese medicinal use, they are underutilized. In China and other Asian countries, bears are kept in cramped cages with tubes inserted directly into their gallbladders to extract bile continuously. The bears suffer as a result of malnutrition, a lack of veterinary care, and infections at the site of insertion. As Asiatic bears become more endangered, poachers increasingly turn to North American bear populations to supply the demand for bear bile.

Roberts further explains, “Both of these practices are perpetuated as more Americans purchase bear part products. By banning the trade of bear products, Hawaii has helped to reduce this market significantly.”

Although there are no bear populations on the islands of Hawaii, this bill provides important protection for mainland and foreign bear populations. By becoming the 46th state to enact a ban on the trade in bear parts, Hawaii is bringing the U.S. one step closer to eliminating the trade completely in the U.S. and significantly reducing the suffering of bears.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at:; twitter; Facebook

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Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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