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Animals Asia Founder calls for end to bear farming

5 July 2006

Animals Asia Founder calls for an end to bear farming as China’s “Green” Olympics draw closer

Jill Robinson MBE will be visiting Auckland in August to speak of the plight of China’s Moon Bears and her vision to end the cruel practice of bear farming before the Beijing Olympics commence in August 2008.

Ms Robinson will be speaking at a cocktail party at Jubilee Hall, Parnell Conference Centre on Saturday 12th August. Special guest MC is Rodney Hide MP who has been in the spotlight recently for his performance on “Dancing with the Stars”.

Lauded as the “Green Olympics”, Beijing has their own environmental symbol to represent “harmony and unity between human beings and nature”, yet more than 7,000 endangered Asiatic Black Bears remain on farms across China so their bile can be extracted and used in Traditional Medicine.

“The Chinese Government has been working with us to close the smaller farms but is permitting large Government authorised enterprises to continue even though there are countless alternatives to bear bile which are just as effective and completely cruelty free,” said Ms Robinson.

"We sincerely hope that Beijing will escalate the end of this horrific industry - particularly as Vietnam have recognised that this practice is cruel and unnecessary and have pledged to phase out all bear farming within the next four years."

Ms Robinson brought the practice of bear farming to the world’s attention in 1993 and five years later started Animals Asia Foundation and embarked on the world’s largest ever bear rescue.

By the year 2000, she had secured an agreement with the Chinese Government to rescue an initial 500 bears from the worst farms – this was the first accord ever signed between the Chinese Government and any outside animal welfare organisation. To date, 205 bears have been rescued and 169 are enjoying their freedom at the Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Sichuan Province.

Animals Asia is currently constructing a rescue centre in Vietnam and will commence the rescue of 200 bears in September 2006.

Tickets for the Auckland event are $80 each and can be booked by calling 0800 728 323 or online at www.animalsasia.org. On the night, guests will have the chance to bid on an 11-night “China Highlights” trip, which includes two days at Moon Bear Rescue Centre in Chengdu among other wonderful prizes.

Notes: Jill Robinson MBE will be in Auckland from 11th – 13th August and will be available for interviews before and during that time.

ENDS

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