The organisers of the Second China International Animal and Nature Film Festival in Ya’an, Sichuan province, invited our China team to join the event, which recognises local and international filmmakers.
What a night it was. Steve and Sue – our fantastic Hong Kong supporters (and adopters of one of our bears rescued in February, now called Bill) – had generously offered to support our Honey Money Days campaign by sponsoring a night of music and fun in China.
The bear lies helpless on the ground. For the fourth time this month, she’s been drugged with ketamine – an illegal substance in Vietnam used by the farmers to render the bears unconscious and take their bile.
Clucking quietly in the early morning, Assisi was clearly suspicious that “something” was going on. A lifetime of nasty surprises, pain and confinement on the bear farm before he arrived with us in February, ensured that he would still be somewhat cautious with all the new experiences at the sanctuary.
Our Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Chengdu had a wonderful lift just recently – with 36 visitors from across China staying with us on site for our Summer Camp.
Just recently, we received a message that an online forum in China had been inundated with hits after someone posted a piece about his family being absolutely horrified to hear that toothpaste containing bear bile was being advertised and sold.
Our sanctuaries are always buzzing with activity, with the serious day-to-day management and care of the bears (dogs and cats) and often with important research being simultaneously carried out. This work can strengthen our arguments against the vile bile industries of China and Vietnam.
As you know, from the start of this month to the end of September, supporters around the world are holding Honey Money Days to help us raise money for the rescued bears.
Despite their terrible pasts, our rescued bears are generally just so good at leaving the bad times behind. One of the things I love about them is, simply, that they make you smile.
Visiting our Vietnam rescue centre in Tam Dao this week, I couldn’t wait to get around and see all the bears. And, in return, adorable cubs Maggie, Angus and little Taurus couldn’t wait to show me what mischievous little delinquents they’d grown into today.
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.