2022. This is your kindness in action.

As you're reading this, please smile and take a bow. Because you're responsible for exposing and closing one of the most egregious crimes against the welfare and conservation of animals that the world has ever seen.

Today, because of your constant faith and encouragement, a cruel, barbaric and utterly unnecessary industry is coming to an end. And perhaps just as extraordinary, the perpetrators of this industry are not being punished, but thanked.

This is a celebration. Of freedom. Of justice. Of kindness.

Animals Asia was founded in 1998 to end bear bile farming. And now, nearly 25 years later, we have kept our word. To the bears, to the government, to you. 

As 2022 draws to a close, 300 bears are waiting patiently for the industry that has trapped, caged and mutilated them, to comply with the law and release them into the last sanctuary being built in Vietnam. A sanctuary that will free them all by 2026, and ensure there is no bear left behind.

Right now, diggers are cutting into land in Back Ma National Park as our mighty team construct a quarantine area, a hospital and bear houses that will see the remaining bears being cut out of their cages and released into our care. Nothing can stop us, and nothing can curtail our excitement or our pride as we join the Vietnam government, the traditional medicine community and the public, and celebrate the true definition of partnership that gives Vietnam's remaining "bile bears" the freedom and urgent care they need.

Thank you. From our grateful hearts to your kind hearts – we did this, together.

Even the farmers are being celebrated for giving up their bears and are invited to see them in the natural beauty of their new forest sanctuary. We know that this rather surprising gesture will create positive stories at home and abroad, allowing the farmers to acknowledge the joy of freedom and choices they are bringing to their "bile bears", and encouraging them to reach out to other farmers, convincing them to hand over their bears too.

Remaining in Vietnam, noble, beautiful elephants are being given their choices as well. No longer chained or cruelly controlled with sharp bull-hooks, elephants are walking freely in the forest, deciding where to go, what to eat and who to hang out with.

You may have heard an elephant trumpet or even rumble but, once you've heard an elephant squeak with unbridled joy for the pleasure of freedom and being close to their very best friend, there is no going back. And next year we'll be hearing more squeaks, as the elephant riding tourism industry moves closer to an end (by 2026), bringing more elephants to the forest with their friends.

In China, you have helped hundreds of dog and cat meat restaurants close down since dogs (and by default cats) have been removed from the official livestock list countrywide. There is still a way to go, but the law is now firmly on the side of our very best friends, and another founding goal being achieved!

The world is at war - with COVID and other disease, with each other in combat, with animals and nature. We surely don't need any more hatred or accusation, when kindness really can be the only cure. At this magical time of year, I thank our lucky stars for what I know is the most committed and loyal and creative and determined team in the world – our Animals Asia family of staff and supporters worldwide. All pulling together to bring more achievements for the animals in 2023.

For next year is our 25th anniversary and will be our noisiest year yet. It has to be.

Because we have more promises to keep and an ambitious commitment to the Vietnam government that can only be held back by lack of funding and pace.

If we build it, they will come!


From every bear, elephant, dog and cat – from the animals of Asia, our gratitude always for your kindness in action and our heartfelt wishes to you and your family and friends, for the happiest, healthiest holiday and festive season, and the beautiful best of everything in 2023.

Bear hugs, blessings and love,