Rescued bears get best care available in China and Vietnam

29 August 2014

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Animals Asia’s bear rescue centres have become the first sanctuaries in China and Vietnam to be honored with an internationally recognised accreditation.

The official accreditation is from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). As the only globally-recognised organisation certifying animal sanctuaries and wildlife rescue centers, GFAS accreditation involves a rigorous testing process to confirm the humane and responsible care of animals on site.

GFAS declared that both sanctuaries demonstrated excellence in areas of safety and security, veterinary care, governance, and financial and organisational sustainability. The sites’ standards were declared in line with the “definition of a true sanctuary and humane and responsible care of animals”.

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The announcement is a major honour for both the Vietnam and China bear rescue centres as well as providing a clear and trusted means for the public, donors, and government agencies to recognise their outstanding contributions to animal welfare.

Jackie Bennett, GFAS Deputy Director, Great Apes and Regional Accreditation said:

“Animals Asia’s sanctuaries in Tam Dao and Chengdu are exemplars of sanctuary care and management. So many of the bears that arrive at these sanctuaries have suffered great physical and emotional trauma, requiring specialised care and a lengthy rehabilitation process. Everyone involved in their care is committed to providing the bears with the best possible life. We also commend Animals Asia’s strong commitment to putting an end to bear bile farming through its powerful public awareness campaigns and its outreach to government authorities and the traditional medicine community.”

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Bear and Vet Team Director Vietnam, Annemarie Weegenaar said:

“At our Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre we were delighted to receive the news that we have been awarded Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries accreditation. The accreditation team has been incredibly helpful taking us through the process, step by step. It has been an extremely useful exercise involving looking at our protocols and processes in detail and identifying areas where we can continue to develop. We are always looking at improvement at the sanctuaries to ensure the best possible care is provided to our bears and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries has truly helped us with that. The process could have not been completed without the tremendous help of all our staff at the sanctuary, ensuring all protocols are followed and the sanctuary is maintained to the highest standard.

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Bear and Vet Team Director China, Nic Field said:

“The Chengdu Bear Rescue Centre team is thrilled to learn that we have achieved accreditation from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. As a sanctuary and an organisation we have always taken pride in aspiring to the highest standards of care for the bears. I want to say a huge thank you to all the sanctuary team. I simply cannot praise them enough for working together as a team, not only for the GFAS accreditation, but every single day to make the sanctuary what it is today. They constantly strive to further develop procedures, practices, facilities and the care of the bears.”

Animals Asia’s bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam not only rehabilitate and care for bears rescued from the bear bile industry – their team also gathers vital evidence of the effects of bile extraction.

Over 400 farmed bears have been received by the sanctuaries, including Asiatic black bears, brown bears and Malayan sun bears.

The sanctuaries provide direct employment for over 250 local staff in areas such as bear care, horticulture, food preparation and security. Several hundred more are employed indirectly through services and construction.