years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Professor Andreas Fischer, President of the University of Zurich (centre) with all Honorary Doctorate recipients.
Professor Felix R. Althaus, Dean of the Vetsuisse-Faculty introduces Jill and commends her on her work.
We are thrilled to announce that Jill has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich in recognition of her outstanding contribution to animal welfare.
The Dean of the Veterinary Faculty, Professor Felix Althaus, presented Jill with the award at a ceremony at the university on 29 April. The honour entitles the recipient to use the title, "Doctor”, so Jill is now officially “Dr Jill Robinson MBE”. Professor Althaus commended Jill for her public campaigns and co-operative style of working directly with the authorities. He said her contribution to the field of animal protection was substantial and her presence on the ground in Asia was fearless.
Jill's sister Anne, brother-in-law Steve and niece Nicole flew from the UK for the event.
Jill was accompanied to Zurich by Toby Zhang, our Director of External Affairs China, and Professor Gao Yimin, a leading name in traditional Chinese medicine and co-publisher of the Chinese pharmacopeia, the official index for Chinese medicinal components.
Christa Filipowicz, our German Director, said she was particularly grateful to longstanding supporter, Katharina Büttiker, who introduced Animals Asia’s work to Zurich University.
Katharina is President of Swiss animal-welfare organisation Animal Trust and has helped make our work known throughout Switzerland. We are very pleased and honoured to announce the appointment of Katharina as Animals Asia’s new Ambassador in Switzerland!
Professor Althaus, Jill and Professor Andreas Fischer.
The Animals Asia team: Toby Zhang, Steve, Professor Gao Yimin, Anne, Nicole, Jill and Christa.
Animal Trust kindly helped with Jill's visit to Zurich to accept her award, organising a press conference on the day before the award ceremony and arranging speaking events for Jill. Joining Jill at the press conference were Prof Althaus, Swiss politician Doris Fiala, and Prof Gao (who developed synthetic versions of bear bile, rhinoceros horn and musk deer). Katharina delighted all when she handed Prof Gao a cheque in aid of his work for animals in China. Thank you Katharina for all that you do! Our grateful thanks also to Ms Hortense Anda-Bührle, who kindly hosted the press conference and later aperitifs in her elegant hotel.
During her visit to Zurich, Jill gave a presentation and answered questions about Animals Asia’s work at the University of Zurich’s veterinary clinic. Both the veterinary science students and professors listened intently then Jill, Toby and Professor Gao answered a flood of questions. Also during her stay, Jill joined other animal supporters for a brunch hosted by Animal Trust. Guests watched a short version of our new DVD, “Moon Bear Rescue: A Decade On”, then there were more questions for Jill and Toby!
All the while, Christa did a superb job of helping to coordinate these events. To all the friends and supporters we met during our sojourn in Zurich and especially to our friends at Animal Trust — a very warm and heartfelt thanks!
And to Dr Jill, huge congratulations from all of us lucky enough to be part of the Animal Asia team!