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Illegal breeding and slaughtering at bear farms has been a controversial topic for a long time, but the government has decided to pursue a plan to permanently ban bear breeding.



Reporter Song In-ho reports.



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Two half-breasted bear cubs are making fun of themselves at the zoo shelter.



These bears were rescued at the end of last month from a bear breeding farm in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, and were illegally bred by the farmer without permission.



[Hong Seong-hyeon / Cheongju Zoo Veterinarian: Only the eyes are round and very dirty. It was a bear cub that looked pitiful at first glance.] There



are 369 black-breasted bears raised in Korea.



Breeding has been banned through neutering since 2014, but the controversy over illegal breeding and slaughter continues.



Some farm owners are abusing the exception that bears for exhibition are not required to be neutered.



They secretly slaughter domestic bears to sell their gallbladder and byproducts, and then secretly swap out illegally bred bears to avoid government surveillance.



[Jeong Jin-ah Jeong / Head of Social Change Team, Animal Freedom Coalition: If you go, you can’t even say that the floor is covered with filth, and it is a situation where the (bear) grows on its own without reporting it.] The



Ministry of Environment has come up with special measures.



If illegal breeding occurs habitually, severe punishment will be imposed and a plan to ban bear breeding altogether will be prepared by the end of this year.



Korea and China are the only countries that breed bears for gallbladder.



[Park So-young / Manager, Department of Biodiversity, Ministry of Environment: I think that bear breeding should not be continued any longer in line with the international status.

To ensure that domestic bears are freed from harsh conditions and managed humanely…

.]



Bear breeding farmers are protesting that the government is pushing for a ban on breeding without any compensation, so it is necessary to consult with the farmers.



(Video editing: Tae-ho Yoon, VJ: So-young Shin, screen provided by Animal Freedom Coalition)

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