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).
In 2011, we celebrated 20 years of Dr Dog, Asia’s first animal-therapy programme. Jill Robinson and her golden retriever, Max, started Dr Dog with a visit to a paraplegic boy in the grounds of a Hong Kong hospital.
Animals Asia brought 23 bears to safety in 2011, including our 100th Vietnam bear, “Dream”, who was rescued from a farm in November along with 13 other bears, many of them missing limbs. This brings to 381 the total number of bears rescued in China and Vietnam at end-December 2011 — 277 in China and 104 in Vietnam.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism warned travel companies they risked losing their licenses if they took international tourists to buy bear bile.
Jill was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich for her contribution to animal welfare. She is now officially “Dr Jill Robinson MBE”.
We hosted Asia’s biggest animal-welfare forum, the four-day “Asia for Animals Conference 2011” in Chengdu, Sichuan province, the home of our China bears. At the conference, we launched the Animals Asia Welfare Awards (also known as “The Andrews” in memory of Andrew, our first rescued bear).
We held our third Humane Dog Management Workshop for officials and welfare groups, with this year’s focus on the control of canine rabies.
Animals Asia co-hosted a reception at the UK House of Commons for key traditional medicine practitioners from around the world ahead of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine’s Congress at the Hall of Westminster. We also organised and funded a panel discussion on endangered species at the Congress.
Animals Asia partnered with the University of Edinburgh to hold a seven-day workshop in animal welfare for 236 final-year veterinary students in Chongqing. We also held a two-day workshop in animal care at our Chengdu sanctuary for 32 animal managers and veterinary-care personnel from zoos and safari parks across China.
Our China team offered emergency (and months of follow-up) veterinary care for hundreds of dogs taken in by a Chengdu shelter after the rescue of 800 dogs by animal-welfare groups.
Almost 10,000 Chinese internet users entered our World Animal Day online photo competition to promote love and respect for companion animals. Hundreds more joined our events around mainland China and Hong Kong.
Animals Asia hosted the visit of the China Association of Zoological Gardens to the UK to meet with international experts in captive-animal management and discuss exchange programmes to improve the welfare of animals in Chinese zoos.
Seven more Chinese pharmacies joined our Healing without Harm campaign, bringing to 40 the number of pharmacies in China that have pledged never to sell bear bile again.