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Hawaii bans bear bile, gallbladder products

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a bill banning the sale of products containing bear bile or gallbladders.

The governor signed House Bill 2296 into law late last week, prohibiting the purchase, sale, transportation and delivery of any item containing bear bile or gallbladders.

The Humane Society of the United States asked Hawaii to ban the trade of products containing bear bile and parts. The organization said it found imported eye drops, lotions and shampoos containing bear gallbladders and bile available for sale in Honolulu’s Chinatown.

Bear bile can sell for thousands of dollars an ounce. According to the national organization Born Free USA, American black bears are poached for their gallbladders. In Asia, bears are caged with catheters inserted into their gallbladders to drain their bile.

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