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FOUR PAWS activities and goals

In 2005 the Vietnamese government launched its first efforts to phase out the keeping and farming of bears for their bile. Thanks to the work of the Vietnamese government and law enforcement authorities, NGOs and increasing public awareness, the number of captive bears at farms reduced from approximately 4,300 in 2005 to about 1300 in 2015, a decrease of 72%. Success in ending the bile bear industry is vital to the survival of wild bear populations in Vietnam.


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A FOUR PAWS sanctuary for former bile bears

BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh is a bear sanctuary built by FOUR PAWS in Vietnam, which provides spacious species-appropriate outdoor enclosures for rescued bears. The FOUR PAWS sanctuary will allow Vietnamese authorities to make greater efforts in monitoring bears farms and allow for the immediate confiscation of ‘illegal’ bears with the knowledge that there is an appropriate home ready to take the bears. 

Furthermore, an increase in sanctuary capacity in Vietnam will allow for greater efforts in encouraging bear farm owners to voluntary give up their bears and allow the bears to live the remainder of their lives in a species-appropriate manner.  


Closing farms and transferring all of the remaining bears to rescue centres and sanctuaries is the vision for the next three years in Vietnam. The FOUR PAWS sanctuary received its first rescue bears in 2017. Our ultimate goal is to be able to house and care for 100 former bile bears.


In the meantime, we have been able to rescue and house 20 bears at BEAR SANCTUARY Ninh Binh.

Nhi Nho (formally known as Hai Chan), Thai Van, Thai Giang, Misa, Binh Yen, May, Hoa Lan, Hoa Tra, Long, Trang, Mi, Tam, Keo, Lim, Dieu, San, Khoai Lang and Chuoi, Tao and Le. Further bear rescue missions are already being planned.


Rescued bear, Thai Giang, enjoying life in a hammock with companion, Thai Van.

What FOUR PAWS does to help bears in Vietnam:

To reach our goal, we are taking the following measures:


  • FOUR PAWS provide  financial and technical assistance to existing wild animal sanctuaries, such as the state-run "Wildlife Rescue Centre Soc Son" near Hanoi, to improve the living conditions of the 16 former bile bears living there. With our help, a new facility with a 1000 square metres big outdoor enclosure was constructed. The generously equipped facility features a grassed area, places to hide away, water pools, and play objects, which the keepers regularly stuff with food to keep the bears busy.


  • FOUR PAWS currently work with  the Vietnamese government and in coalition with local partners Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) in implementing a roadmap to end bear farming by 2020.


  • FOUR PAWS work on public awareness campaigns both in Vietnam and internationally to help in demand reduction of bile products and to ensure the issue of bear farming is addressed appropriately as an animal welfare crisis with implications on wildlife trade and the conservation of wild bears in Vietnam and across Asia. .


  • FOUR PAWS is building its own bear sanctuary in northern Vietnam, for at least 100 former bile bears. The sanctuary provides a species-appropriate home for rescued bears. Meet our rescued bears here


FOUR PAWS wishes to express its appreciation for the work of other NGOs that have already been able to help Vietnam’s bile bears, and that continue to fight for the rescue of all bile bears in Vietnam. 


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