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).
Asia animal welfare activist awarded honorary doctorate by Zurich University
Jill Robinson MBE, Founder and CEO of Animals Asia, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Zurich, it was announced today. Ms Robinson was honoured by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in recognition of her work on animal welfare issues in Asia.
In 2000, Ms Robinson signed a landmark agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association and Sichuan Forestry to rescue 500 bears from bear farms and to work towards ending the bear bile industry. The organisationís work has also expanded to Vietnam where they signed a formal agreement with the government to rescue 200 farmed bears.
Through public campaigns, direct negotiations with authorities and her tenacious presence on the ground, Ms Robinson has made a substantial contribution to the protection of animals in Asia.
During a ceremony the honorary doctorate was awarded by Professor Felix R. Althaus, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, who stated that Ms Robinson receives this honour in the true sense of the Greek hero Akademos for her achievements in international animal welfare.
Prof. Althaus commented:
“Jill Robinson has dedicated herself to the rights of animals. With her courage, persuasiveness and negotiating skills she finds pragmatic solutions to improve the fate of mistreated animals, even under the worst conditions.”
Ms Robinson has previously received recognition of her work, but this is her first academic award: “Never in my life did I think I would receive such a tribute. It means so much and underlines the significance of our work for animals in Asia. I am very grateful to Prof. Althaus and the University of Zurich for this award which also is a sign of the increasing awareness of this topic internationally.”
Animals Asiaís fight against bear farming is supported in Switzerland by Animal Trust, a Swiss animal welfare organisation.
As many as 15,000 bears across Asia are farmed for their bile, which is used in traditional Asian medicine despite the availability of over 54 inexpensive herbal and synthetic alternatives. In China, the bears can spend more than 30 years in tiny cages and are milked regularly for their bile through crude catheters or permanently open holes in their abdomens. According to official figures there are more than 7,000 bears on farms, but Animals Asia fears the actual figure could be higher than 10,000.