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Christmas greetings from Jill and the AAF Team!
With Christmas just around the corner, the Animals Asia team is coming to the end of an exhausting but exhilarating year! Over 50 bears have been rescued from the barbaric bear farms of China (bringing the total to 198) and more are scheduled to arrive in early 2006. Exciting news of our progress in Vietnam will also be released in the New Year - all closing the net on bear farming Asia wide.
Fantastic political action in Europe has also led to a remarkable achievement. Spearheaded by Animals Asia�s UK Director, Dave Neale, we are very, very proud and happy to announce that 'Ending Bear Farming in China' is now official European Union Policy!!!! Heartfelt thanks to the thousands of people who lobbied their MEP's, and to the MEP's themselves, who helped Dave and Gill Maltby from our UK office, and Christa Filipowicz from our German office finally secure the required 367 votes. Read more on our website. What an incredible end to 2005, and thank you to every single one of you involved in this campaign!
No-one could be more grateful than the bears themselves - and just this month more terrified victims arrived in Chengdu. Thin and sick, but slowly responding to tender veterinary care, tasty nutritious food, and heaps of love. One lucky bear has a very special sponsor - the lovely Dr. Dame Jane Goodall who joined us on site earlier this month and named the bear she saw being cut out of the cage "Mandela", in recognition of how forgiving this species can be after so many years of imprisonment.
Dogs and cats too have not been forgotten and, earlier this month, I met with Lady Heather Mills McCartney and discussed the horrific plight of millions of our "best friends" being cruelly slaughtered for the meat and fur industry in China. Read more about "Friends....or Fur".
I also had a productive meeting this week at the Chinese Embassy in London, and we hope for significant progress in 2006 - which is the Chinese Year of the Dog. With 40,000 copies of our "Dr. Eddie Friend.. or Food" film being distributed across China and development of our projects which give animals and their guardians in China their own "voice", there is no doubt that there is growing support from within.
Most of all our thanks to everyone in every country of the world who cares for the animals of Asia - together, our voices are being heard; sparking change and a new awareness which is helping their plight as never before. Thank you from every bear, every dog and cat who will one day wake without fear in their hearts because of your voice and help which is changing their lives.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and 2006 - and, as ever, bear hugs from all in the Animals Asia team,
Jill Robinson MBE
Founder & CEO
Animals Asia Foundation