How Will the End of Bear Bile Farming in Vietnam Influence Consumer Choice?
Elizabeth O Davis1, Diogo Veríssimo2, Brian Crudge3, Son H Sam4, Dung T Cao4, Po V Ho4, Nhung T. H. Dang4, Tu D Nguyen4, Hien N Nguyen4, Trung T Cao4, Jenny A Glikman5
1 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Escondido, California, USA
2 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Escondido, California, USA; Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
3 Free the Bears, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR; Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Health, University of South-Eastern Norway, Bø, Nordland County, Norway
4 Vinh University, Thành Phồ Vinh, Nghệ An, Vietnam
5 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Escondido, California, USA; Instituto de Estudios Sociales Avanzados, Cordoba, Spain
Elizabeth O Davis
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Escondido, California
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
The Vietnamese Government committed to closing all bear farms in the country by 2022. Some researchers have expressed concerns that ending the commercial farming of bears, while demand for bear bile persists, could lead to increased hunting pressure on wild bear populations. In this article, we used mixed methods of questionnaires, Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs), and interviews to investigate current consumer demand for bear bile in Vietnam, with a specific aim of understanding the potential for consumers to seek out wild bear bile. We sampled at seven areas across the country of Vietnam (total respondents = 2,463). We found low use of farmed and wild bear bile. Despite widespread belief in farmed and wild bear bile's efficacy, we found that individuals were apathetic about continuing to use bear bile. Coupled with a strong preference for using synthetic bear bile over wild and farmed bear bile found in the DCEs, we posit that bear bile consumers in Vietnam will be willing to use non animal-based products, including bear bile plant and Western medicine, to treat future ailments.