How are Animals Abused and Exploited in Asia?

Animals in Asia are among the most abused in the world. From bears captured and caged for their 'bile', to dogs and cats slaughtered in horrific ways for their meat, exploitation of animals in Asia is common and widespread.

Wildlife in captivityThere are far fewer laws protecting animals in Asia from cruelty and exploitation than in other continents.

This makes the work of dedicated animal welfare charities in Asia like Animals Asia, even harder, as the law is often on the side of animal abusers.

Animal welfare organisation, Animals Asia, started after our founder Jill Robinson, witnessed horrific animal cruelty on one of China's infamous 'bear bile farms'.

But today, it works on a range of animal welfare issues facing animals in China and Vietnam.


What is Bear Bile Farming?

Bear bile farming is a cruel farming system designed to extract bile from the gallbladders of living bears for use in traditional Chinese medicine.

Bear in full metal jacketSome mammals in captivity in zoos in Asia also suffer with injury and disease. Many wild animals in captivity even self-harm due to the frustration and boredom of constant confinement. Most receive no medical care and are left to suffer alone.

Most farmed bears are kept permanently in cages, sometimes so small that they are unable to turn around or stand on all fours.

Some bears are caged as cubs and never released, with many kept caged for up to 30 years.

Most farmed bears are starved and dehydrated, and suffer from multiple diseases and malignant tumours that ultimately kill them.

Bear in cageOn bile farms, bears are seen as mere production units, only worth the amount of bile they produce. Animals Asia has also seen instances of old or very sick bears – those who fail to produce bile – simply left to starve to death in their cages. Bear's bile is extracted using various invasive techniques, all of which cause severe suffering, pain and infection.

The method claimed to be the most 'humane' by bile farmers, is 'free-drip' method, where bears undergo surgery to create a permanent open passage from their gallbladder through their abdomen.

The surgery is crude, unhygienic and rarely performed by a veterinarian. This results in many of the bears dying from infections or other complications, and agony for those who do survive.


You can help end this horror. A gift from you today could help save a forgotten bear from a life of unimaginable abuse. Will you help?

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Cruelty to Dogs and Cats in Asia

Life for millions of dogs and cats in China is dangerous. Some are abandoned pets, left to fend for themselves after being dumped by their owners. Many are strays born on the streets.

Puppy abuseGovernment authorities organise brutal killing campaigns in an attempt to reduce stray dog and cat populations.

Animals Asia has rescued many dogs, cats, puppies and kittens who have suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of people who see them as 'pests' — such as puppy abuse, when the dog pictured below was scalded with boiling water and thrown from a high rise building. And kitten abuse, with a disabled kitten abandoned on the streets. And these are not the only dangers they face…


Dog cruelty It's estimated that in China alone,10 million dogs and 4 million cats, are slaughtered for their meat each year.

Dogs and cats of all shapes and sizes, many of them family pets still wearing their collars, are snatched from the streets and forced into tiny cages.

Many suffer broken limbs as they are transported vast distances, without food or water, to meat markets.

The tortuous transport and inhumane slaughter methods suffered by each and every one of these innocent dogs and cats is some of the most extreme animal abuse in Asia.


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Suffering of Captive Wild Animals

There is also widespread animal cruelty in zoos, safari parks, circuses and tourist attractions in China and Vietnam.

Tiger in captivityIt is not unusual to see captive wild animals in Asia's zoos in small barren cages, with no environmental enrichment, and inappropriate groupings - such as sociable pack animals housed alone.

Many wild animals, such as elephants, live their lives in chains, unable to display any natural roaming behaviours, or move beyond a few metres.

In many zoos and safari parks in Asia, terrified cows, donkeys, pigs, and chickens dropped into the enclosures of starving lions and tigers as live prey, for the entertainment of crowds.


Performing bearSome mammals in captivity in zoos in Asia also suffer with injury and disease. Many wild animals in captivity even self-harm due to the frustration and boredom of constant confinement. Most receive no medical care and are left to suffer alone.

Many zoos in China and Vietnam, also force wildlife in captivity to entertain crowds with unnatural, degrading and stressful circus-style performances.

The training methods used to force the animals to perform are cruel and abusive, using punishment and fear. A number of undercover investigations into zoo performances have uncovered gross abuse of wild animals to force them to perform.

Tiger used for selfiesTrainers will do whatever they can to break the animals' spirits. Endangered tigers and lions routinely have their teeth ripped out and are declawed to render them harmless.

A recent video viewed by 10 million people in China showed a trainer kicking and beating a chained and muzzled endangered moon bear. To attract tourists and generate more profits, some zoos and safari parks use wild animals, particularly baby wild animals, as photo props.

Many cubs and baby animals are removed from their mothers very young, so they can be hand reared, and held in social isolation, making it easier for the trainers to access them and force them to pose for photo opportunities.

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Could you help spare a forgotten captive wild animal from a life of loneliness and abuse?

Animal Rights and Activism in Asia

Animals Asia was one of the first animal protection organisations in China. We began rescuing bears from the cruel bile trade almost 20 years ago and today, we have saved almost 700 bears from horrendous animal abuse.

Wildlife activismAnimal rights and activism in China is on the rise. In the last decade, Animals Asia has seen the number of grassroots animal protection groups rise from 0, to over 150.

Animals Asia funds a number of local animal welfare groups, who use all legal means to disrupt and whistleblow illegal dog trade activity, rescue dogs and cats from abuse, run local spay and neuter programs.

Animals Asia feels that tide of public feeling is turning and attitudes towards animals in China are changing fast with dog and cat ownership at an all time high.

The younger generation have been a driving force in rejecting animal cruelty and making their voices heard. In 2016, nine million people signed a government petition calling for an end to dog and cat meat eating.


You Can Help Captive Wild Animals from Abuse

You can help stop this cruelty! Your support could help protect animals in Asia from unthinkable cruelty and abuse.