WSPA bewilders anti-bear farm activists

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2012:

WSPA bewilders anti-bear  farm activists

SEOUL--“Victory!  Korea commits to end bear farming,” bannered a World Society for the Protection of Animals electronic newsletter distributed on February 18,  2012,   but dated a month earlier.

The announcement bewildered veteran anti-bear bile farming campaigners,  including founder Gina Moon.
“WSPA welcomes the news shared by our partner Green Korea United,”  explained the newsletter,  “that the budget committee of the Korean National Assembly recently voted through a proposal to ‘prepare measures to end the practice of bear farming through investigation of the current status of bear farming and its management plan.’  The government has cleared a budget of 200 million Korean won ($175,000 U.S.) to ascertain the current situation of bears on farms in Korea,  and design ways to end the practice.”

Responded Moon,  “There has been a bill before the Assembly for over a year now that,  if passed into law,  would take the first steps to ban breeding and farming,  but this has gone nowhere.  This so-called study will be primarily be to count the number of bears in farms.   There has been no change to government policy at all.  We see this as simply a stalling tactic to avoid passing the bill and spending the millions that would be needed to compensate farmers for no longer being able to farm bears and for taking the surviving bears into sanctuaries.

“Both Green Korea,  funded by WSPA,  and WSPA themselves are trying to balance the interests of the farmers against the bears,” Moon told ANIMAL PEOPLE,  “but we think that is the wrong approach. I am very sorry,”  Moon finished,  “that the statement by WSPA does not reflect reality.”

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