By Jill Robinson, Founder of Animals Asia
We’ve had some shocking news. After working so hard over so many years to build a world-class sanctuary for the bears rescued from Vietnam’s bile farms, we are being asked to leave.
On Friday October 5, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) informed Animals Asia that the Ministry of Defence had issued an order to evict the entire sanctuary operation and its 104 rescued bears. There is no justification for this.
It’s believed the park director, Do Dinh Tien, lobbied the Ministry of Defence to evict Animals Asia, so he can hand the land to Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company, of which his daughter is part owner. The company intends to build commercial property including a tourist park and hotels.
The closure would see 104 bears that have been rescued from the bile industry evicted, 77 local Vietnamese staff made unemployed, and financial losses to Animals Asia of more than $2 million.
After years of trauma from being locked up in small cages and milked for their bile, our bears are now enjoying dens, enclosures and friends to play with. These bears will be forced to return to cages to be relocated. This will have a major negative impact on their mental and physical well-being. It is likely to take at least two years to establish a new center with outdoor enclosures. (The bear named Grace pictured above is also blind.)
We’re fighting this eviction notice every step of the way, appealing directly to the Vietnamese authorities, enlisting help from the international community, the media and other NGOs. But most of all we need your help.
Three Ways To Help Now:
Please write to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, and appeal to him to allow Animals Asia’s Vietnam bear sanctuary, which he previously approved and endorsed, to continue operations, and expand, in line with the government’s original agreement.
Step 1. Email Prime Minister Mr Nguyen Tan Dung at firstname.lastname@example.org Below is sample text for your email:
Dear Honourable Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng,
I write to express my concern that Animals Asia’s world-class bear sanctuary is to be evicted from Tam Dao National Park by the Ministry of Defence.
The eviction is in direct violation of the Vietnam government’s agreement with Animals Asia, to develop a rescue centre on 12 hectares of the park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry. The closure would see 104 rescued bears evicted, 77 Vietnamese staff made unemployed, and financial losses to Animals Asia of more than US$2 million.
Please overturn the decision to evict Animals Asia and honour your government’s agreement.
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