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’s largest animal welfare forum will take place in mainland China for the first time in June 2011, as campaigners continue to monitor the nation’s development of an animal welfare law.
Hong Kong-based NGO Animals Asia will host the Asia for Animals conference from June 10 to 14 in Chengdu, close to its award-winning rescue centre for Asiatic black bears. The conference is sponsored by Animal Guardians, Animal People, Best Friends Animal Society, Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International, International Animal Rescue, IFAW, RSPCA, SPCA Hong Kong, and WSPA.
The conference aims to spread ideas, with attendees from Asia and around the world sharing solutions and providing inspiration on how abuse can be reduced and ended.
The conference will look at a range of topics including tackling animal cruelty, improving the welfare of captive animals, practical solutions to improving the welfare of farm animals, tackling the trade in wild animals, the inhumane treatment of companion animals, wildlife conservation, and advice on developing legislation to protect animals from suffering.
Jill Robinson MBE, Founder and CEO, Animals Asia commented:
“In a continent where customers are eagerly consuming many species to extinction, where billions of unwilling victims of commercial trade and entertainment are murdered, mutilated and exploited, and where companion animals are suffering and dying in vast numbers, it is vital that animal welfare specialists can come together to share knowledge and expertise.”
The lack of welfare legislation within China is a major hurdle for animal welfare organisations such as Animals Asia. Discussions with Chinese authorities elicit tacit support for our stance on many welfare issues, but in many situations the authorities cannot act because they have no legal framework on which to base any action.
Ms Robinson continued:
“The challenge we face is to develop the relationships with government officials, lawyers, academics and the public, to generate support for, and encourage the development of, such legislation. This is a long-term process, but one we are convinced will eventually reap rewards.”
The conference will also provide the forum for a number of animal welfare awards. The SPCA Canine Welfare Awards (Donated by Genlin Foundation) is the first China-based award promoting canine welfare in Asia. It is awarded by SPCA Hong Kong and generously funded by Genlin Foundation.
The awards have been established to recognise and exemplify the significant contribution or advances for the betterment of canine welfare in Asia. The winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000.00 (USD) each and will be sponsored to attend the award ceremony as the conference.
Animals Asia will launch the inaugural Asian Animal Welfare Awards at the event, which recognise the contributions of animal welfare supporters in the region. Nicknamed “The Andrews” in memory of the first bear Animals Asia rescued from a bile farm in China, the awards will cover a range of categories including Political Contribution, Outstanding Contribution in the Media and Most Promising Activist.
Ms Robinson said:
“We are looking forward to honouring those organisations and individuals who are making outstanding contributions to the advancement of animal welfare in Asia. Over the years, we have seen many selfless supporters, celebrities, government officials, corporations, campaign partners and students helping to improve the plight of wild and domesticated animals throughout Asia. Please help us to recognise these unsung heroes by nominating a deserving individual or organisation for an award.”