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).
Animal Welfare Intergroup MEPs launch campaign to end bear bile farming by the 2008 Olympics
Peter Skinner MEP, Paulo Casaca MEP, Terry Wynn MEP, Neil Parish MEP, Jill Robinson MBE, Jean Lambert MEP
Neil Parish MEP, Paulo Casaca MEP, Peter Skinner MEP, Terry Wynn MEP, Jill Robinson MBE, Jean Lambert MEP
On Thursday 13 October 2005, Animals Asia was invited to attend a press conference at the European Parliament in Brussels to launch the start of a campaign by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) calling upon the Chinese government to end bear farming in China
The campaign began with the launch of a written declaration circulated among the 732 MEPs from all 25 EU states. The declaration:
1. Calls on the Chinese Government to consider this grave worldwide concern as the 2008 Beijing Olympics approach, taking a clear stance on bear farming, initiating a countrywide ban forthwith on the breeding of bears on farms and setting a time-limit for the ending of bear farming;
2. Requests that the Chinese Government liaise with AAF in accelerating the closure of all bear farms through programmes benefiting bears currently held captive and farmers reliant on the industry; calls also for co-operation with Animals Asia in developing far-reaching education programmes to deter consumers of bear bile;
3. Instructs the European President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Council, the Commission, the Member States and the relevant Chinese authorities.
The MEPs that put forward this declaration invited us to join them at their press conference. MEPs Paulo Casaca, Terence Wynn, Jean Lambert, Peter Skinner and Neil Parish urged the Chinese government to escalate efforts to end bear bile farming by the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Paul Casaca, President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup, said We urge the Chinese government at every level to abolish once and for all this barbaric practice and stop with immediate effect the breeding of bears for bile farming. We will do everything in our power to support the Chinese government in their efforts.
The MEPs welcomed the positive efforts made so far by the Chinese government in closing over 40 bear farms and helping Animals Asia Foundation free 194 bears. However, thousands more remain in senseless and cruel captivity.
The MEPs were joined in their call by British Olympic cycling champion Fiona Oakes, a gold medallist in Barcelona.
Fiona Oakes said "In 2008, athletes will gather in China to realise their dreams. Thousands of spectators from across the world will join them in China or will listen and watch through wireless, television and the internet. When the world sees images of these suffering bears, I am sure they will be as horrified and sickened as I am.
Jill Robinson MBE, applauded the MEPs efforts to encourage the Chinese Government to work more intensely with Animals Asia towards ending bear farming once and for all.
She added" "The Beijing Olympic Games will be an historic event. As the eyes of the world will be looking to China in 2008 it would be a responsible, ethical and momentous declaration if the Government ended the barbaric and unnecessary practice of bear farming by that date."
Jill left nobody in any doubt as to why this barbaric practice must end, while the MEPs sponsoring the declaration left us in no doubt that we had their 100% backing and support for ending bear farming.
This is a fantastic step, putting further international pressure on the Chinese authorities to close down the farms once and for all.
You can play your part by writing to your local MEPs and asking them to sign the declaration.