Great news, Care2 members – thanks to your unflagging support and the hard work of Animals Asia, moon bears at the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre no longer risk losing their permanent home.
An eviction date loomed over the sanctuary back in October, 2012, but now the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre has gotten a reprieve. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently announced that the current sanctuary in Vietnam will remain open, serving 104 bears formerly saved from the illegal bear bile industry.
Additionally, the second stage of the Centre’s construction now has the go ahead to begin. The Centre, which Animals Asia has invested more than $2 million to complete, will give the sanctuary a better opportunity to rehabilitate bears and gather evidence of the damage caused by bile extraction. The reprieve also means that 77 Vietnamese staff members will keep their jobs at the sanctuary.
The continued operation of the rescue center is an essential part of a larger goal set by Animals Asia to increase public awareness about the bear bile industry and ultimately eliminate bear bile farming altogether. The industry currently uses more than 2,400 moon bears, sun bears and brown bears in Vietnam, while an additional 10,000 live on similar farms in China.
Founder and CEO of Animals Asia Jill Robinson MBE explained that outside activism has played a significant role in Animals Asia’s mission to get these bears to safety: “Our priority has been to rehabilitate these bears after their years of trauma from being locked up in small cages and milked for their bile. If we had been forced to relocate it would have had a terrible impact on their wellbeing. We want to sincerely thank the tens of thousands of supporter from around the world who wrote letters, sent e-mails and signed petitions calling for the eviction to be stopped.”
Vietnam Animals Asia Director Tuan Bendixsen also gave his thanks: “We are very grateful to the Prime Minister for his commitment to the bear rescue centre. We look forward to working with the government to end bear bile farming and help conserve bear species.”
Animals Asia promises to continue their efforts to shut down bear bile farming in Vietnam and China while funding and running sanctuaries. Thank you to everyone who helped make this achievement possible!