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).
Statement issued to implement change in zoo management
28 October 2010: Animals Asia congratulates the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development for issuing a directive (26 October 2010) on the management of zoos in China. This directive calls for zoos to:
end the use of animals in abusive performances
forbid the sale of endangered species products
end the sale of wildlife meat at zoo restaurants.
provide good quality, sufficient and suitable food to all animals
improve housing conditions to create safe housing which provides for the animals’ behavioural needs
construct veterinary hospitals and adopt necessary disease prevention and treatment measures
This directive follows a statement released by the State Forestry Administration on 30 July calling for wild animal facilities to inspect and rectify actions which are causing animal suffering and to improve the management of captive animal facilities for the benefit of animal welfare. For more details of this statement please click here:
The directive issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development applies to all zoos within China (wild animal parks/safari parks are under the management of the forestry department) and is being widely publicised in both the Chinese national and the international media:
David Neale, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director says:
“We congratulate the ministry for issuing this directive to Chinese zoos. We are pleased that issues such as animal performances, and the sale of illegal wildlife products are being addressed. If these measures are implemented they will lead to a significant reduction in animal suffering.
Animal performances portray the animals to the public in a humiliating way that does not promote empathy and respect. Many animals used in animal performances suffer from severe neglect and cruelty, tigers and lions have often had their teeth ripped out to make them defenceless and animals such as bears, monkeys and elephants are whipped and beaten to force them to perform ‘circus tricks’. A ban on such abusive animal performances has the potential to free many thousands of animals from a life of suffering in Chinese zoos.
We are also pleased the ministry is addressing the poor veterinary and management standards which exist in many Chinese zoos, calling for improvements in housing conditions and veterinary facilities to ensure the health and the welfare of animals in captivity is improved.”
Animals Asia has visited zoos and safari parks throughout China over the years and documented the litany of abuses that are standard practice in these animal performances.
To watch our recent short film on animal performances in China, please click on The Performance.
To download a copy of our full response, please click here .
We will continue to liaise with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens to offer advice and support for welfare improvements for captive animals and to monitor the effectiveness of this directive.