House bill targets illegal harvesting of bear parts

Supporters and critics of a bill aimed at curbing illegal harvesting of bears for their gall bladders squared off at a US House hearing today. An existing law known as the Lacey Act prohibits import, export, transportation, sale or purchase of animal or plant wildlife taken illegally against US laws, regulations or treaties. The bill put under the spotlight today would amend the Lacey Act to bar trade in viscera from illegally harvested bears. Bears are poached for their gallbladders and bile, which are used in Asian medicines and aphrodisiacs.

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC