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Chinese chemists have joined animal rights groups

BEIJING, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese chemists have joined animal rights groups in search of substitutes for bear bile, which is believed to help cure ailments such as eye and liver problems.

"Research and development of substitute ingredients are essential in protecting animal welfare and boosting technological advancements," said Prof. Gao Yimin, an expert on traditional Chinese medicine at the Beijing-based Capital Medical University.

At a forum sponsored by Animals Asia Foundation (AAF), a non-government organization engaged in animal welfare, in Beijing Tuesday, Prof. Gao said China's success in developing artificial musk, a substance obtained from the gland of male musk deer, could be copied to save bears from the torture of bile extraction.

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