Sally Taylor, our lovely Bear Manager in Chengdu, swapped out her Wellington boots for rather posher footwear on April 28th when she married Geoff in the UK.
The past few weeks have a been a crazy round of presentations and events in New York, London and Italy, with barely a moment for catching our breath. The highlight of course has been seeing so many old friends, and meeting new supporters of the bears, dogs and cats, where we've been able to convey the reality of the progress across China.
Just recently, an incredible event in Beijing gathered together local cat-protection groups from across the country and saw various experts discussing TNR – or trap, neuter, release.
For those supporters in Hong Kong, please join me and some of the gang from our Hong Kong office tomorrow night for the launch of a great new CD in support of the bears.
For the first time, Animals Asia now has a "Charity Emporium" which, as our UK Director Gill Maltby explains, is unlike any charity shop she has ever seen. Thanks to super supporter Denise Jacobs, who has been instrumental in getting the shop off the ground, it has opened to enormous fanfare in Western-Super-Mare.
Many of you may remember that I recently posted a blog about Jeannette Jaussi from Switzerland and her visit to our bear sanctuary in Vietnam. Jeannette is part of VZUT, an amazing support group of Swiss friends in the beautiful city of Bern, who dedicate their lives to helping the bears. They have flea markets, Klausen Sacklies, and even make delicious homemade cakes that are personally delivered by Santa Claus at Christmas!
Little did I know, when first introduced to some new UK supporters during a roadshow event some years ago, that they would turn out to be such generous and magnificent supporters of our work to end bear farming.
Our UK team is celebrating all things dog at the moment – and with this in mind I'm turning the rest of the blog over to Fiona to explain why!
It was lovely recently to have on site at our Tam Dao sanctuary Jeremy Higgs, who has helped our Vietnam operations so much over the past few years. Here are a few pics of the day (with Tuan, our Vietnam Director, and vet Kirsty).
Jill heads Animals Asia’s team of over 300 enthusiastic staff. She divides her time between mainland China, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and travels frequently…READ MORE
Jill Robinson MBE
Jill heads Animals Asia’s team of over 300 enthusiastic staff. She divides her time between mainland China, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and travels frequently around the world to give presentations at conferences and speak at fundraising events.
A hands-on leader, Jill is involved in all major decision-making. She works with the vet and bear teams during rescues and health checks and advises closely on construction projects. She visits dog and cat markets and zoos and safari parks throughout China to document the abuse of animals and over the years has made countless visits to hospitals and homes for the elderly with her own and Animals Asia’s animal-therapy dogs.
She writes her own blog, her own speeches and presentations, is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines and a frequent guest on radio and TV shows. She has also co-written a children’s book about moon bears and co-written a number of scientific papers with Animals Asia’s vet teams.
Born in the UK, Jill arrived in Hong Kong in 1985 and spent 12 years working in Asia as a consultant for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Repeatedly faced with scenes of widespread animal cruelty, she decided to introduce the concept of “animal welfare through people welfare” and founded Dr Dog in Hong Kong in 1991 – the first animal-therapy programme in Asia.
Jill founded Animals Asia in 1998 – five years after an encounter with a caged bear on a farm in southern China changed her life forever. Learning that bear bile could be replaced by herbs, she vowed to put an end to bear bile farming. Since then, Animals Asia has rescued over 530 bears in China and Vietnam.
In 2010, both Animals Asia’s China and Vietnam rescue centres were awarded the Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence and in 2014 they were accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries – the only sanctuaries in China and Vietnam to have received this honour.
Jill is a Council Member of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) Herbal Committee and her outstanding contribution to animal welfare has been recognised with a number of awards. In 1995, she won the “Reader’s Digest” Hero for Today award. In 1998, she was made an MBE by Queen Elizabeth of England. In 2008, she was named “Outstanding Earth Champion” in Hong Kong and was appointed World Animal Day Ambassador for Asia. In 2010, she was one of 12 recognised foreigners given the “You Bring Charm to China” award.
Jill received an honorary doctorate in veterinary science from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2012, and an honorary law degree from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China in 2014.
She shares her home in Hong Kong with her family of rescued dogs, cats and a tortoise.