My dream for China: a future without fear or pain for animals

15 May 2018

Veterinary Intern Chen Si Wen, together with Senior Vet Nurse Wendy Leadbeater, presents in front of veterinary graduates

After a year as a veterinary intern at Animals Asia’s China sanctuary, Chen Si Wen inspires the next generation with a dream of a compassionate future.

For the past three years, Animals Asia’s China Bear Rescue Centre has been a breeding ground for animal welfare awareness among promising young veterinarians.

Recent graduates with an interest in animal welfare and wildlife have been trained in welfare, nursing and anaesthesia as well as both wildlife and small animal medicine and surgery.

And the graduates were so keen for others to follow in their footsteps that they wrote their hopes and dreams for China’s future relationship with animals to be shared with the next generation.


These passionate declarations of empathy for animals will be shared with other veterinary students at universities and workshops around the country as part of Animals Asia’s first Animal Welfare Tour.

The tour will see a series of lectures and workshops on animal welfare given to veterinary graduates at 10 universities across China. The tour began in April with a visit to the Shandong Agriculture University.

When Animals Asia veterinarians read the graduates’ inspiring texts to the next generation, they found them all impressive, but one in particular took their breath away.

Veterinary Intern Chen Si Wen with rescued dogs at CBRC

Former Animals Asia Veterinary Intern Chen Si Wen wrote:

I truly hope that animals in China can live without fear and pain one day. I hope for a future free of circuses, aquariums, bear bile farms and all other cruel industries.

I hope zoo animals will be able to express their normal behaviour just as if they were living in the wild. People must return their dignity and freedom – to treat them as they deserve to be treated.

I also hope that one day our vets will open their minds to encourage cooperation between community clinics and hospitals, and focus on quality instead of quantity.

I hope gender discrimination and unequal pay in the veterinary practice will be eliminated – that female vets can do orthopaedic surgeries and men can be excellent vet nurses.

We vets should never forget our social responsibility to the community and always strive to set positive examples, such as setting up puppy schools and educating owners how to take good care of their companion animals.

I want every person to be able to bring an injured animal to a vet clinic without worrying about excessive bills. In a China with strong, well-established support systems and animal welfare charities, we can achieve this.

I dream that we vets and people who love animals will promote animal welfare and see real animal cruelty legislation become a reality in the next few years.

For all of this, I am determined to strive, to fight and not to yield.

Veterinary Intern Chen Si Wen holding a cat in hand

Si Wen was trained as a veterinary intern at Animals Asia’s China sanctuary from September 2016 to October 2017, before gaining more clinical experience in Australia. She now works in a small animal hospital in Beijing, sharing her knowledge of animal welfare.

In addition to the internship program and the animal welfare tour, Animals Asia’s China sanctuary’s veterinary department is also involved in regular training and workshops for veterinarians across China, focusing on animal welfare, anesthesia and pain management.


Veterinary students from the China Agricultural University join Animals Asia’s team for a week every summer to gain experience and knowledge.

Animals Asia Senior Veterinarian Emily Drayton, who worked closely with Si Wen, said:

“Reading Si Wen’s dream made me proud that we are here, doing what we do, and it gives me real hope for the next generation of vets and leaders in animal welfare in China. We are on the right path.”

Senior Veterinarian Emily Drayton and veterinary graduates