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Full steam ahead for our bear campaign!

Fast on the heels of our conference in Beijing, which saw the attendance of over 250 traditional Chinese medicine doctors, scholars, government officials and policy-makers advocating the alternatives to endangered species, we then saw another exciting event in China – this time in Tianjin, near Beijing (where our beautiful brown bears, Caesar and Emma, were rescued with the help of the local forestry department).

On 22nd December we were joined by the government leaders of 18 provinces – who pledged to be bear-farm free. This accounts for over half of the country and was a groundbreaking step forward in our campaign to end bear farming in China.

A truly remarkable morning – to be sitting together with forestry officials from across the country who made their feelings clear, and were determined never to open their doors to bear farming in the future. In addition, these provinces have given a firm commitment that if farms are found during their investigations, they will close them down, confiscate the bears and place them in our care.

And some encouraging words from Toby Zhang, our China Director of External Affairs:

"Neither CWCA officials nor myself ever expected such a positive response from the provincial officials! It was so obvious from the start that most them agreed with us that bear farming should be ended because it is cruel, because it is potentially harmful to consumers, and because it is a stain on this great nation.

It was also obvious that a lot of them feel proud that they don't have bear farms, and that they have made the decision not to allow this industry in their provinces at all. 

I know from my previous experience guiding Chinese visitors visiting our sanctuary, that Chinese people don't want to see the bear bile industry in this country, and this was confirmed again by the officials' response to my presentation on the day we all met." 

This is fast becoming a special year for the bears in China, with many more activities planned. Our next step is to build upon this pledge with other provinces in the country – and launch an exciting new venture with doctors and pharmacists of traditional Chinese medicine as part of our Healing without Harm campaign in February of this year. More about that soon....

Please see our media release and web report on the groundbreaking commitment from China's bear-farm free provinces.

2010 is our Year That Matters – please stay with us as we make it matter for the bears.

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