Up to 149 captive bears had been found in 27 establishments in Hanoi by the end of April this year, accounting for more than half of the total nationwide, a seminar heard on Monday.
The event was co-organized by the Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV), animal welfare organization Four Paws, and World Society for the Protection of Animals to raise awareness and propose solutions to the bear problem to the capital administration.
A Four Paws representative said that 40 out of the country’s 63 provinces and cities no longer have bears in captivity.
However, 294 bears are still kept in captivity in private facilities nationwide, with 149 of them, or 51 percent, found in Hanoi.
ENV deputy director Bui Thi Ha called on the city to direct the forest protection sub-department and district-level authorities to crack down on bear-related violations to put an end to the animal torture.
Ioana Dungler, director of the wild animals department at Four Paws, said with support and rigorous action, Hanoi can alleviate the problem and set the trend toward removing the practice from the community.
Experts suggested a series of solutions at the event, including intensifying inspection of bile farms, strictly handling related violations, seizing illegally caged bears, and banning breeding bears in private facilities.
The city should mobilize owners to voluntarily hand over bears to the authorities, while encouraging the use of herbs and more humane alternatives to bear bile, they said.