Animals Asia Founder wins Hong Kong Women of Hope Award and praises team who rescued over 600 bears

23 May 2019

Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE was feted at the Hong Kong Women of Hope Awards where her long-standing contributions to animal welfare were celebrated. 

Thirty-three years of tireless work to help animals in need was recognised on Friday 17 May when Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE was presented with the Hong Kong Women of Hope 2019 Eco-Warrior Award at a ceremony in Hong Kong.

Jill worked as an animal welfare investigator in Hong Kong before starting the charity Animals Asia in 1998. Since then, the organisation has rescued over 600 bears from bile farms in Vietnam and China as well as improving animal welfare across the region and opposing the cat and dog meat trades.

Speaking after the ceremony, Jill said:

“I’m immensely proud to be recognised in this way, but really, this award is recognition of the entire organisation. Whether investigating cruelty, running our bear sanctuaries, raising awareness, lobbying government or raising funds, the work never stops.

“We are absolutely privileged to be supported by a network of compassionate people around the globe who refuse to turn away from cruelty and give what they can to end it. This award is for them, too. Without you, there is no Animals Asia. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Having raised awareness of bear bile farming across the world, Animals Asia is now working directly in partnership with the Vietnam government to end the industry once and for all in the country.

In 2018, Animals Asia set up Vietnam’s first ethical elephant tourism initiative freeing four endangered Asian elephants from tourist rides and allowing them instead to roam the vast open spaces of Yok Don National Park.

The charity’s Animal Welfare programme also opposed over 80 circuses in 2018, leading to eight circus shows being shut down and one zoo ending their close-contact activities with wild animals.

The leading animal protection organisation in Asia, Animals Asia’s work in China has seen the number of animal welfare organisations in the country skyrocket. In 1986 there was just one registered animal welfare organisation in China. By 2006, that number had increased to 30 organisations and today there are more than 200 – a staggering 60% of which are part-funded or mentored by Animals Asia.

A canine therapists comforts a child with learning disabilities

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Jill’s Eco-Warrior Award is the latest in a number of prestigious awards and honours, including an MBE from Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, the Reader’s Digest ‘Hero for Today’ award, the Humane Society of the United States’ Genesis Award and an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich, Switzerland.