Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) is a Hong Kong-based charity that seeks to end cruelty to animals in Asia.
The AAF was founded in 1998 by Jill Robinson, who felt compelled to create the organisation after learning of the plight of the Asiatic Black Bear known as the “Moon Bear” because of the yellow crescent on its chest. Moon Bears are farmed throughout Asia for their bile, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. The methods used in bear bile farming involve bears living up to 25 years in crush cages with metal catheters inserted into their abdomens for bile extraction or open wounds through which the bile drips.
Animals Asia Foundation has been profiled on CNN, NPR, Animal Planet, the BBC, the National Geographic Channel, as well as in print media in several countries. Founder Jill Robinson has received numerous distinctions for her commitment to animal welfare including the 2002 Genesis Award, the Reader's Digest Hero for Today Award and an MBE from the Queen of the United Kingdom. The Foundation's headquarters is in Hong Kong with additional offices, a sanctuary and an educational centre in China, Germany, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In February 2009, Animals Asia rescued a dozen malnourished, diseased Asiatic Black Bears from abusive bile-harvesting farms in southwest China. The bears were given to Animals Asia under an agreement made in 2000 with the government to save sick bears from state and illegal farms. The animals went to the foundation's Moon Bear Rescue Center outside Chengdu, which has handled 260 freed bears since the agreement was signed. The issue further expanded in 2012 when Guizhentang Pharmaceutical company tried to enter the Shenzhen stock exchange.
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