My friend Brendan McCarthy, an Australian photojournalist, has been investigating the collection and sale of Moon Bear bile in Vietnam. Bear bile is marketed as a traditional Asian remedy for everything from impotence to cancer to hangovers. The bears are listed as endangered, by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It's aim is to ensure that such international trade does not threaten the survival of endangered species.
Brendan’s video report, The Bear Rescue Mission, details the work of the nonprofit Animals Asia to rescue and house the bears. It also covers the bear-bile “farmers” who claim to own the bears as “pets”. Here is the most up to date information on the status of the bears: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/21/moon-bears-bile-asiatic-black-bears/.
Naturally there is pushback from those who profit from the trade in bear bile. Whether the Animals Asia rescue center at Tam Dao National Park in northern Vietnam will be evicted by the authorities is still an open question, so stay tuned for developments.