NY Lawmakers Ban Trade of Bear Bile

Wednesday, Jul 6, 2011  |  Updated 4:28 PM EDT
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NY Bans Trade of Bear Bile

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There were big issues decided in New York this year: Gay marriage, a property tax cap, rent control for pricey New York City apartments.

And then there's bear bile.

Legislators this session voted to ban the sale of bear bile, a law that is among the measures heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk.

New York is one of only five states that doesn't place any restrictions on the trade of bear gallbladders and bile, which is a component in some traditional Chinese medicine.

The bill's sponsors in Albany argue that the New York loophole encourages poaching and puts bears at risk.

The bill amends environmental conservation laws to prohibit the "possession, sale, barter, offer, purchase, transportation, delivery or receipt" of bear gallbladder or bile.

According to the bill's sponsors, bears are often killed specifically for those parts.

Once signed, the law takes effect Jan. 1.

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