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).
Range of blankets made from cat and dog pelts (12 to a blanket), about 200 RMB (USD25) each in Beijing, March 2005.
Discarded dog fur in a southern China Animal Market, June 2005.
Animals Asia is totally appalled by the atrocities perpetrated towards wild animals and dogs and cats for their fur. Since 1986, animal welfarists, now belonging to the Animals Asia team, have been investigating the horrific live animal markets of southern China. Animals Asia is focusing resources on ending dog and cat eating in China through our "Friends....or Food?" countrywide campaign. By raising the profile of companion animals as our friends and helpers through education and "hands on" programmes, such as "Dr. Dog" and "Professor Paws", we are making significant inroads within China itself - empowering animal lovers there with a voice to speak out on behalf of dogs and cats and calling on the dog and cat consumption industry to end.
As one of the few groups in China publicly calling for these atrocities towards dogs and cats to end, we have to date circulated over 123,000 copies of our film featuring "Eddie", a dog we rescued from a cruel animal market in Guangzhou, to Government officials, the media, universities, animal welfare groups and various companion-animal associations across the country.
With these same species being barbarically exploited within the fur industry, our media interviews and publicity are highlighting this issue too -- again to reach the public in China (and indeed other countries in Asia such as Hong Kong) so that people are more informed as to the products they are offered for sale - and in order that they understand our message advising the avoidance of all fur.
In many ways, the cruel fur trade thrives because of the decision of the fashion-conscious Westerner to buy and wear fur. In 2005 Animals Asia were involved in the successful campaign to end the trade in dog and cat fur into Europe. The EU has now banned the import, export and trade in dog and cat fur since 1st January 2009. Animals Asia continue to call for a ban on the trade in ALL fur across the European Union.
Animals Asia appeal for people to turn away from ALL fur as the situation for all fur-bearing animals in Asia is cruel and barbaric -- with dogs, cats, rabbits and wild animals being skinned alive. Following the EU ban on dog and cat fur, we hope Western fashion designers will now turn away from the use of fur and that the industry will swiftly be brought to an end.
We continue to share our information with the media and other concerned local and international groups. For many years we have investigated and documented the atrocities against wild, endangered and domestic species in the live animal markets in southern China. And we are happy to advise both the media and other animal welfare groups of their location. Our investigations and research have shown that dogs and cats are being sold for their meat rather than fur in these markets -- but of course the fur industry is rife as one travels further north into the country where there are bitterly cold winters.
In mid-2005 our investigations showed that due to the international exposure of these southern markets, there were fewer wild animals openly for sale. The sale of most wild animals was banned as a result of the outcry surrounding SARS and bird flu, and because the media and groups such as ours placed significant pressure through press releases and conferences calling on the Government to bring the trade to an end. However, despite the fact that fewer wild animals are seen in the current urban markets, clearly there remains an illegal black market, and undoubtedly an active trade in the suburbs too.
With international pressure, together with our ongoing investigations and educational work throughout China we believe that the situation for dogs and cats will one day improve. Today, there are over 150 million dog owners in China, and a huge groundswell of support for ending dog and cat eating once and for all. However, the acceptability of dog and cat eating is deeply ingrained in the Chinese culture and requires creative solutions to change hearts and minds from within -- solutions that Animals Asia is, and will continue to, pioneer in the hope that dogs and cats can take their rightful place in the community as our best friends not food or fur.