Posted: 11 Oct 2012 08:04 AM PDT


Yesterday we learnt the shocking news that the bears at Animals Asia Foundation’s wonderful sanctuary in Vietnam are facing eviction.  The 104 bears living there are the rescued victims of the appallingly cruel bear bile farms.

This news is especially distressing for the Born Free Foundation’s founder, Virginia McKenna OBE who has seen for herself the shocking conditions at bile farms in Vietnam, and Born Free has helped fund this very sanctuary.

  • The sanctuary is located within Tam Dao National Park and the eviction seems to be the result of an aggressive campaign by the park director, Do Dinh Tien.

Mr Tien has been pressuring Animals Asia to relinquish the land since April 2011. Animals Asia believe that he intends to hand it over to the Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company, in which his daughter has an investment.

This company has submitted an application for development of an “eco-tourism park” and hotels on the site.  Mr Tien has also been lobbying the Ministry of Defence to declare the sanctuary to be an area of “national defence significance” and to apply pressure on the Ministry of Agriculture to stop the rescue centre’s planned development.

Currently 104 bears are living at the rescue centre, being rehabilitated after years of trauma from being locked up in small cages and painfully drained of their bile.

It is not difficult to imagine what would go through their minds if they had to be darted, crated and transported again.

They would then have to learn that the new surroundings were truly safe and the new humans working with them were not going to catch them again and torture them.  In addition, it is likely to take at least two years to establish a new centre with outdoor enclosures, forcing the bears back into cages on a long-term basis.

The case will now go to the Prime Minister of Vietnam for a final decision. Due to the powerful status of the Ministry of Defence, it is feared that the Prime Minister will be forced to agree with the recommendation to close the centre.

Please write to Vietnam’s Prime Minister.  But this is urgent, urgent.

Start your letter:
Dear Honourable Prime Minister Nguyễn Tãn Dũng,
End ‘Yours sincerely’.
Express your concern that Animals Asia’s sanctuary is to be evicted from Tam Dao National Park by the Ministry of Defence.

Point out, politely, the eviction is in direct violation of the Vietnam government’s 2005 agreement with Animals Asia to fund and develop a facility on 12 hectares of the park
Respectfully urge the PM to overturn the decision to evict Animals Asia.

Nguyễn Tãn Dũng, Prime Minister
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Office of the State
1 Bach Thao
Hanoi, Vietnam

Fax: + 845 5464


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