The importation of wild animals, including bears, significantly increased.
Trafficking of Asiatic black bears was booming, and trade in bears for their bile became already full-blown in the late 1970s.
1972 – It was reported that a farmer imported 40 bear cubs from Japan.
Gaps in legislation and weak law enforcement gave rise to the increasing number of farmed bears and the bear farming industry.
1981 – The government promoted bear farming.
1982 – The Asiatic black bear was officially designated as a natural monument.
1983 – Revised wildlife laws prohibited the importation of bears for medicinal purposes, whereas its import for research purposes was still allowed.
1983 – The last Asiatic black bear in the wild in Korea was killed by poachers. The government held a public auction for the last wild bear's bile.
The number of farmed bears considerably increased with the consumers’ insatiable demand for bear bile.
1991 – A technique to extract bile from live bears was famous and this practice was not regulated by the law.
1993 – South Korea became a signatory to CITES in 1993. The importation of bear bile for commercial purposes was on probation for three years.
1996 – Bear bile importation for commercial purposes was prohibited. Imports for research purposes were still available.
1998 – Asiatic black bear was designated as an endangered animal, but the designation excluded imported bears.
1999 – Slaughtering aged bear over 24 years was legalised.
Animal-right civil societies and organisations started to make a voice to oppose the bear farming industry.
2003 – An environmental organisation, Green Korea, launched a campaign to abolish the bear farming industry.
2005 – The Ministry of Environment set out guidelines for bear farming.
The bear farming industry started declining.
2010 – The Special Act for the management of farmed bears was proposed.
2012 – The Ministry of Environment reported bears farming situations and management status in the farms.
2013 – A consultative committee consisting of bear farmers, civil societies, and legal and wildlife experts was formed.
2013 – The Special Act for the management of farmed bears was proposed.
2014 – A plan to purchase and manage remaining farmed bears by the Ministry of Environment was scrapped.
2017 – Instead, the government neutered all farmed bears
The government worked on a bear sanctuary establishment plan.
2020 - The government passed the budgets for the bear sanctuary in Gurye.
2021 – A blueprint for the Gurye sanctuary was produced. The government passed the budgets for another bear sanctuary in Seocheon.