Dr Jill Robinson, Founder & CEO of Animals Asia Foundation, is going to give us a talk entitled,
Bear Farming in China
Time & Date: 1630, 30th October, 2012
Documentary: Moon Bear
Fighting an industry that survives on deceit will never be an easy battle to win. For over 20 years, support for the bear farmers claims of a potion promoted to have almost magical proportions, has seen the abject misery and suffering of the animals providing it largely ignored. However, in an extraordinary example of compassion conquering commercialisation, the tide is now beginning to turn and bears are at last being seen as the victims of an industry too cruel and horrible to justify. Years of work and research by government and non government organisations, including Animals Asia, has generated convincing arguments against an industry previously promoted as fundamental in benefiting healing and health. Today, irrefutable evidence surrounding the contaminated bile, together with conservation concerns and the sickening exposure of the physical and psychological health of the bear farming victims, is now seeing increasing waves of public sympathy in support of closing the industry down. As people acknowledge unparalleled suffering towards an endangered species "milked" of a substance that can be so cheaply and reliably replaced, Animals Asia continues in a strategy that covers components of welfare, politics, education, public health, conservation, disciplines of Traditional Medicine - and basic ethics. Jill summarises nearly two decades of a campaign against bear farming which began in the early 1990's, and exposes a practice so morally bankrupt and corrupt that only one conclusion can, and is, finally being reached.
Jill arrived in Hong Kong in 1985 and worked with IFAW, founding Asia’s first “Dr Dog” animal therapy programme. Visiting a Chinese bear farm in 1993, Jill exposed the plight of endangered bears cruelly exploited for their bile. In 1998, she founded Animals Asia and the “End Bear Farming” Campaign which has seen sanctuaries in China and Vietnam, and freedom for over 360 bears. In 1995, Jill received the Readers Digest “Hero for Today” award and in 1998, she was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth for services to animal welfare in Asia. Awards include the USA Genesis Award, Marchig Animal Welfare Award, and the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust Gold Medal. In 2008, she was named Hong Kong “Outstanding Earth Champion”, and appointed Asia World Animal Day Ambassador. In 2009 Jill was elected as Council Member for the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies Herbal Committee, and a Member of the USA Society of Woman Geographers. In 2011 Jill was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Zurich.