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ARCHIVE - Stop Bear Poaching In The U.S.

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SAMPLE LETTER Print/Send This Letter

The Honorable Representative> _____________________________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Representative _____________________________________,

I am among a growing number of voters who care deeply about animal protection issues. I hope you support legislation that shields livestock, pets, wildlife and other animals from cruelty and harm.

I am dismayed to learn North American bears are killed for the interstate trade in bear parts and products. Already threatened by habit degradation and hunting, these bears face further imperilment from criminal poaching. Tens of thousands of bears are annually destroyed to harvest their parts for Traditional Asian Medicine in the United States and abroad.

I respectfully ask you to co-sponsor and pass H.R. 5534, the Bear Protection Act of 2008, which seeks to conserve bear populations by banning the import, export, and interstate trade of bear viscera and items.

Federal lawmakers must take a stronger stand against illicit poaching. Ambiguous state laws make smuggling a cinch. Gallbladders camouflaged as chocolate figs or concealed in coffee to mask odor are ferried to states where their sale is permissible.

American poachers profit from a prolific Asian bear bile market. Traditional Oriental Medicine uses bile acid to treat maladies from headaches, hemorrhoids, and bone fractures to heart disease, poor vision, and sexual dysfunction. Thousands of Asiatic Black (moon) Bears spend their entire lives smashed in iron cages barely larger than their bodies. Farmers cut a permanent hole into the bear's belly to drain bile from their gallbladders.

The farms have come under fire for profound cruelty. In addition, China's moon bear numbers continue to drop, with less than 20,000 in the wild. Both factors open the door for American poachers to smuggle bear parts overseas.

Passage of the Bear Protection Act of 2008 will help end this chain of exploitation. Please shield America's treasured bears under federal law.

Thank you,
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