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China promotes bear bile as coronavirus treatment, alarming wildlife advocates

China promotes bear bile as coronavirus treatment, alarming wildlife advocates

Less than a month after taking steps to permanently ban the trade and consumption of live wild animals for food, the Chinese government has recommended using Tan Re Qing, an injection containing bear bile, to treat severe and critical COVID-19 cases.

View Images China’s government has recommended treating severe and critical cases of COVID-19 with an injection containing bear bile powder.

Although use of bear bile from captive animals is legal in China, bile from wild bears is banned, as is the import of bear bile from other countries.

Neglect and disease are common on these farms, and consumers risk ingesting bile from sick bears, which may be contaminated with blood, feces, pus, urine, and bacteria, according to Animals Asia.

Because diseases are common on bear bile farms, according to the nonprofit Animals Asia, bile from sick animals can be contaminated with blood, feces, pus, urine, and bacteria that may threaten human health.

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