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so successful i.

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MILAN, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Three female councilors of Italy's second largest party 5-Star Movement (M5S) protested Tuesday by hanging their clothes during a debate on gender equality at the Regional Council of Lombardy in Milan.

According to local media, the three M5S representatives hang their clothes in the hall of the assembly.

They were protesting against the remarks made by the leader of Italy's right-wing party Northern League, Massimiliano Romeo, during a discussion on the approval of new rules on gender equality in the boards of companies from Lombardy, one of the 20 regions and the richest region in Italy.

"Salary disparity between men and women does not depend on law, but from the fact that when companies require overtime, men answer 'yes', while many women say no because they prefer to stay at home and look after children," Romeo told the local assembly and media.

The comments sparked protest by the opposition representatives and the session was suspended.

After that the three female M5S regional councilors hang briefly their clothes on a line in the assembly.

"We, the women, we have to stay at home and look after children," they said ironically to their Northern League colleagues.

Finally president of the Regional Council of Lombardy Raffaele Cattaneo had to ask the removal of the clothes.

Activists protest against bear bile products outside a pharmacy of Fujian Guizhentang Co in Shenzhen nike shox oz d herre , South China’s Guangdong Province, on February 26, 2012. The company once again sought a public listing this year, but failed after a similar outcry. Photo: IC

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) manufacturer Guizhentang's plan to get listed in the New Third Board has failed again, three years after it withdrew its IPO application in 2012. Both times nike shox oz d dame tilbud , the company had to forego funding following a public backlash over its practice of extracting bear bile - its main product. The company has argued that the process does not cause the bears any discomfort. The wide use of bear bile in TCM has also complicated the issue, as synthetic bear bile is still being tested and isn't as effective as its natural counterpart.

Guizhentang, a manufacturer of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has again failed to complete plans for a public listing following an outcry from animal welfare groups over its practice of extracting bile from live bears.

In December 2015, the company published a statement saying that it planned to raise funds by getting listed on the New Third Board nike shox oz d dame , China's over-the-counter board for non-publicly traded companies.

The move came three years after Guizhentang canceled its plan for an IPO in 2012 after an unanticipated public backlash.

This time, the Fujian-based TCM manufacturer was more prudent. It submitted a statement of more than 140,000 words, detailing the company's revenue and profits over the last three years, along with five certificates nike shox oz d danmark , including a breeding and animal epidemic prevention permit, to justify its qualifications to tap the capital market.

However, despite its efforts, the bid was aborted again in recent months, in the wake of withering public outcry to block the company from listing.

The company's main product nike shox oz d tilbud , which is extracted from bear bile - a digestive fluid produced by liver - and used in TCM, has been the center of controversy.

A controversial business

Various animal welfare groups, including the Ta Foundation, the Animals Asia Foundation, and World Animal Protection nike shox nz herre tilbud , have publicly condemned the practice of extracting bear bile for being cruel, and called for China's securities regulator to closely scrutinize the company's business.

"The way that bile extracted will not only cause the bears excruciating pain, but also exposes bears' organs to open air and can lead to serious health risks, like illness and infection," Zhang Xiaohai nike shox nz herre , secretary-general of the Ta Foundation, told the Global Times, noting that the process is both physically and psychologically harmful to bears.

"The day [when Guizhentang halted listing] came earlier than we expected," the TA Foundation said at its microblog.

The organization also questioned whether the healthcare products sold by Guizhentang contain bear bile, which violates a Ministry of Health regulation issued in 2011 nike shox nz dame tilbud , according to a statement that the Ta Foundation sent to Global Times on Tuesday.

Guizhentang refused to discuss the matter when contacted by the Global Times on Monday. Its website was down for maintenance since Monday.

According to media reports, the company emphasized that it employed a bile-harvesting method that doesn't cause any discomfort to the animal.

The company also said that the bears living under its care enjoy satisfying living conditions in environment similar to the wilderness.

The drug maker also blamed that some of animal welfare organizations spread photos taken 20 years ago of bear bile extractions in order to tar the company's reputation.

According to the data released by Guizhentang, the company's net assets tripled over the last three years, jumping from 334 million yuan ($52 million) in 2013 to 1 billion yuan in 2015. The company now rears 899 bears, up from 400 in 2013.

The company manufactures more than 30 products nike shox nz dame , of which the only two drugs made from bear bile - "bear bile powder" and "bear bile capsules" are the "top sellers," a Guizhentang employee told the Global Times on Monday.

TCM connection

Guizhentang is not the only player in the business of producing bear bile.

In China, there are currently 68 farms where bile is extracted from 20,000 bears, according to a report published on Monday by the State Council , China's cabinet.

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