Home / Tech News / 100 Quebec black bears slaughtered as part of gallbladder-trafficking ring, officials say

100 Quebec black bears slaughtered as part of gallbladder-trafficking ring, officials say

Network allegedly killed black bears for their gallbladders, shipping organs primarily to Asia

On Quebec’s black market, a bear’s gallbladder can sell for up to $250 — a figure that rises to $10,000 in Asia.(Priscilla Plamondon Lalancette/Radio-Canada)The gallbladders seized during the searches were put in plastic bags.(Priscilla Plamondon Lalancette/Radio-Canada)

“Each person involved in the network gets a share, so the value increases because there are several stakeholders whose ultimate goal is to reach the Asian market,” said Jasmin Larouche, the head of wildlife protection in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.

The organ is highly coveted for the bile it contains, some people believing it is effective in treating various illnesses, as well as being an aphrodisiac.

“It is recognized for several supposed medicinal properties,” said Sophie Massé, a biologist from the Wildlife Ministry.

“Its medicinal properties are not at all recognized by Western medicine.”

Selling bear gallbladders has been banned since 1998 in Quebec, in order to avoid the bears’ slaughter.

Some 160 wildlife officers participated in the operation, which began in 2015. About 60 individuals were interviewed, and 16 searches took place.

Those charged face a total of 121 charges and could face fines adding up to more than $325,000.

These bear paws are part of the evidence that was seized.(Priscilla Plamondon Lalancette/Radio-Canada)

Jasmin could not say how many gallbladders were sold.

This isn’t the first time Quebecers have been involved in poaching the organ — in 2003, two Quebec men were charged with illegal possession, transport, export and trafficking of gallbladders, according to a report in the Globe and Mail at that time.

In 1991, CBC reported that wildlife officers were concerned that the trafficking of animal parts, especially involving black bears, was out of control.

Report Typo or Error|Send Feedback

Check Also

Alberta Beach ice quake mystery solved

Researchers solve quake riddle after lakeside communities rattled on New Year’s Day A photograph of …