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).
Several other groups are also working hard to help end bear farming in Vietnam. In September 2005 Animals Asia hosted a workshop with the various NGOs, including Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), Wildlife at Risk (WAR), WSPA, and TRAFFIC to identify the key areas of concern and to discuss solutions for short and long term problems affecting the bears. The groups pledged to work together; sharing information and expertise to develop programmes which would work towards our common goal.
ENV's objectives are to increase the profile of bears as a priority of conservation and protection and to generate support from the general public and local communities in national parks and protected areas - changing attitudes and influencing behaviour. ENV carried out a survey of attitudes to bear bile, and have developed a 30 second PSA for national TV in 34 provinces in Vietnam, encouraging people not to use bear bile. They also have a hotline to enable the public to report wildlife problems. Their successful poster campaign, supported by WSPA, not only encouraged school children to be creative, but increased public opinion on the bear issue too.
Following the agreement to phase out bear farming in Vietnam, WSPA have been working with the Vietnamese government to implement a national microchipping programme for all captive bears. Working with ENV, WSPA is helping to inform and educate the Vietnamese public about bear farming and, together with ENV, are planning a wide-reaching public awareness campaign in 2006. This is planned to include advertisements in: newspapers, television and radio as well as planning on producing and distributing a range of educational materials in schools in areas where bear farming and poaching is common.
Wildlife At Risk (WAR) have completed microchipping and photo-identifying of all bears in Ho Chi Minh City. They are also training the keepers for better husbandry of the bears and have worked on a public awareness campaigns in the south including placing posters in restaurants. WAR have researched the usage of bear bile and alternatives, and work with schools, university vets, wildlife students and youth groups distributing education material - including material produced by ENV. They are currently building an animal rescue centre and Education centre in Ho Chi Minh.