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Campaign Against China's Bear Farming - Launches

Campaign Against China's Bear Farming - Launches Sat 1 Nov

Campaign Launches Against China's Bear Farming - Supported by the Greens, Kiwi TV Stars and an International Author

The New Zealand leg of an international campaign to intensify pressure on the Chinese Government to ban bear bile farming has the support of well-known national and international personalities.

Following closely on the heels of the Chinese President's visit to New Zealand, this Saturday (1 November) marks the start of the New Zealand leg of the global tour, which has already travelled throughout the UK, Indonesia and Australia. Organised by WSPA (the World Society for the Protection of Animals), the tour starts in Auckland and will travel to Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Palmerston North and Wellington.

During the two-week campaign WSPA aims to get at least 9,000 postcards signed by compassionate Kiwis to symbolise the 9,000 bears that are currently being farmed for their bile in China across 167 bear farms.

The tour is supported by Jeffrey Mason, world-renowned animal author of 'When Elephants Weep' and 'Dogs Never Lie About Love' who comments "Bear-bile farms belong with slavery, the burning of witches, and the Ku Klux Klan, on the rubbish heap of history. That such practices are tolerated at all is a moral blot, which we will never be able to live down. I am ashamed to belong to a species that finds medicinal use in the indescribable suffering of a noble animal, the bear."

Green Party MP, Sue Kedgley, has also pledged her support and says "It's great that WSPA is bringing this hideously cruel and inhumane practice to our attention, because most people are unaware of it. I call on the Chinese government to phase out this callous practice."

Shortland Street stars, Laura Hill (plays nurse Toni Thompson) and Li Ming Hu (plays Li Mei Chen) will be campaigning with the WSPA team from midday this Saturday, outside The Body Shop on Queen St.

"The continued abuse of bears in Chinese bile farms is inconceivable. No animal should have to live with that kind of suffering, particularly when there is a perfectly good synthetic alternative. These farms must be closed down," says Laura.

Bear bile is an ingredient in some Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is viewed as a cure for many illnesses. However, the active ingredient can be produced synthetically and there are now more than 75 herbal alternatives, making bear farming completely unnecessary.

The central feature of the bear tour is "Chewan" a life-size mechanical bear named after the Chinese word for "Hope". Chewan moves and groans as a real Asiatic black bear writhing in agony in a confining metal cage on a Chinese bear farm would.

The signed postcards will be presented to the Ambassador of the Chinese Embassy in Wellington, on Tuesday, November 11 at 1pm, to mark New Zealanders support of this campaign.

New Zealand's Bear Tour Schedule

Sat, 1 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Outside The Body Shop, Cnr Queen & Darby Streets, Auckland

Sun, 2 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Near The Body Shop, The Pavilion, Botany Shopping Town, Auckland

Mon, 3 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Outside The Body Shop, Cnr Queen & Darby Streets, Auckland

Tues, 4 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Civic Square, Hamilton

Wed, 5 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Outside The Body Shop, Bayfair Shopping Centre, Mt Maunganui & Girven Roads, Tauranga

Thurs, 6 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Outside The Body Shop, 156-162 Emerson Street, Napier

Fri, 7 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, The Plaza, Church Street, Palmerston North

Sat, 8 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Outside The Body Shop, 280 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Sun, 9 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Outside The Body Shop, Queensgate Mall, Wellington - Lower Hutt

Mon, 10 Nov, 9.00am - 4.00pm, Outside The Body Shop, 280 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Tues, 11 Nov, 1.00pm, Public protest outside Chinese Embassy, Glenmore Street, Kelburn, Wellington

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