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).
“End Bear Farming” banners presented to Chinese Embassy
Thank you to everyone who participated!
7,000 signatures gathered to rescue 7,000 tortured Moon Bears
Every signature added to the banner symbolised one of the thousands of Moon Bears trapped on brutal farms throughout China.
After an eight week campaign covering seven capital cities, Animals Asia Foundation met with representatives from the Chinese Embassy and presented more than 7,000 signatures from people who had “signed on to end bear farming”.
The signatures were collected on four massive banners, depicting both farmed and freed bears and more than 3,000 postcards sent to Animals Asia by people eager to see the cruel and unnecessary practice of bear bile farming abolished.
“Unfortunately the Embassy was not able to provide us with a statement or date committing to ending bear farming even though Animals Asia has a formal agreement with the Chinese Government for bear farming to eventually end, but the meeting did give us an opportunity to clarify a number of issues,” said Animals Asia's Australian Director, Anne Lloyd-Jones.
“Unfortunately there are still members of the Chinese Government who believe bear bile cannot be replaced even though a report by the Chinese Association of Medicine and Philosophy and Earthcare has established that there are at least 54 herbal alternatives. The alternatives are cheaper, more effective and more readily available.”
The Embassy said that the standards on bear farms had improved in recent years - a statement Animals Asia disputes, insisting that farmers have deceived Government officials into believing the bears are well cared for and that daily extraction of bile from the gall bladder of a living animal is not painful. It is an indisputable fact that the practice of bear farming violates every principal of animal welfare and ethics.
And while farming bears was originally introduced to preserve the wild population, this endeavor has failed as bears are still being poached for their whole gall bladders. The number of moon bears (Asiatic Black Bears) is now thought to be less than 25,000 worldwide which means they are in the most critical category of endangerment (CITES Appendix I).
Since signing an agreement with Animals Asia in 2000, the Government has closed down a number of farms and released 247 bears into the care of Animals Asia but it is hoped that with irrefutable evidence showing bear farming is cruel, alternatives to bile are readily available and that the bile being collected is full of pus and potentially harming consumers, that this barbaric practice be relegated to the history books.
Animals Asia has been working in Vietnam on the issue of bear farming for eight long years. The practice there is illegal and in November 2005, Animals Asia signed a formal agreement to rescue 200 farmed bears in Hanoi, and since 2007 we have been taking in rescued bears on a regular basis.
Support for our Moon Bear Rescue continues to grow with pop icon Olivia Newton-John featuring in the most recent community service announcement and the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (ARAZPA) pledging to gather one million signatures in support of the campaign to end bear farming.
Animals Asia Foundation Founder and CEO Jill Robinson MBE said "We applaud Beijing for its efforts in promoting the 2008 Olympics in August as the "Green Games". But, together with thousands of people around Australia and the world, we ask that Beijing show that it truly cares for the environment by banning this brutal, unnecessary industry.”
Dr. Katrina Warren and Wonderdog "Toby" sign on in Melbourne!
Thousands of signatures representing thousands of bears on the farms!