years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Animals Asia UK is incredibly grateful for the support that many celebrities give us. Please read on to see who we are working with.
Virginia Mckenna OBE
Virginia McKenna OBE, Patron and inspiration
Virginia McKenna followed up her visit to the China sanctuary with a visit to the Vietnam sanctuary in November 2010. While there, Virginia not only assisted in bear health checks, but also visited the Traditional Chinese medicine street in Hanoi with Jill and accompanied both Jill and Tuan on visits to bear farms in the Ha Tay area. Virginia was extremely moved by her visit and has since written and recorded this poem. The Born Free Foundation continues to give invaluable support to Animals Asia.
Peter Egan, Animals Asia Ambassador
Peter Egan is one of the UK’s best known television, film and theatre actors having starred in such TV classics as Oscar Wilde in the 1978 series Lillie, and in the John le Carré dramatisation of A Perfect Spy. His many film roles include the Duke of Sutherland in Chariots of Fire (1981), Academy Award Best Picture winner and The Hireling, Bean, The I Inside, The Wedding Date and Man to Man.
He is perhaps best known as a theatre actor and director with roles including Trevor Nunn’s production of Hamlet, Journey’s End at London’s Cambridge Theatre (for which he received the Best Actor accolade at the London Theatre Critics' Award), Arms and the Man, You Never Can Tell, which received a Royal Gala Opening and M Butterfly.
In addition to his life as an actor, Peter is passionate about all animals, especially dogs, and a great supporter of a variety of different charities. He is also Patron and Chairman of the London dog re-homing charity All Dogs Matter. With his understanding, compassion and dedication, Peter is the perfect ambassador for Animals Asia and we are very grateful for his support.
Stephen Fry is known for his love of bears and in 2007 very generously donated his time to narrate the Animal Planet TV documentary on Animals Asia’s work “Moon Bears: Journey to Freedom”. Stephen has also regularly donated to Animals Asia auctions.
In February 2010 Ricky Gervais, who had kindly previously donated to Animals Asia’s moon bear rescue, donated one third of his winnings from Absolute Radio’s VIP competition to Animals Asia.
Ricky also named and sponsored “Stan” one of the bears rescued from Shandong province’s last bear farms in April 2010.
Joanna Lumley OBE
Joanna Lumley OBE
In June 2010, Joanna Lumley very kindly agreed to make a statement in support of Animals Asia’s Healing without Harm campaign:
“Animals Asia supports the use of traditional medicines globally, but only those containing no animal parts or endangered plants. No one is going to die for the lack of bear bile – in fact those taking it may be putting their lives at risk. Bile from bears farmed in such barbaric conditions is contaminated with pus, faeces and blood and many of the bears are suffering from liver cancers caused by the extraction methods. With so many herbal and synthetic alternatives, why would anyone take the risk?
Join me in supporting Animals Asia’s “Healing without harm” campaign and their work to end the torture of farmed bears Asia-wide.”
Wildlife artist Pollyanna Pickering visited the China sanctuary in January 2010 during a tour of China to collect material for her exhibition “Beyond the Great Wall”, donating 10% of the profits from the exhibition to Animals Asia. Pollyanna very generously sponsored Polly bear in the Vietnam sanctuary.
Paul Martin and his beloved dogs.
Paul Martin, UK Patron
Paul Martin from BBC2’s “Flog It!” has been a very generous long-term supporter of Animals Asia and is the UK Patron of our Cat and Dog Welfare programme, together with his faithful dogs Bluebell and Diesel. Paul and his wife Charlotte have led numerous sponsored walks for Animals Asia around the country and Paul regularly conducts very successful auctions at fundraising events. Paul and Charlotte have sponsored and named Bluebelle bear in China.
Martin is well known to daytime TV viewers for his programme Homes under the Hammer. Martin has conducted many highly successful auctions for Animals Asia and has very generously donated his time and appearance fees as a guest on Celebrity Mastermind and Celebrity Cash in the Attic.
One of Britain’s best-loved TV wildlife presenters kindly donated both books and prints to the Animals Asia 2010 Paws and Claws online auction.
One of Britain’s best-loved comedians, Dave Spikey co-wrote “Phoenix Nights” with Peter Kaye. In November 2007, Dave and his wife Kay visited both the China and Vietnam sanctuaries and bear farms in Vietnam.
Dave has since recorded a half-hour special for Granada on his visit to Animals Asia’s work and has performed two gigs on our behalf. He and Kay are hoping to sponsor Spikey and Kay, two bears they connected with on a Vietnam bear farm and hopes they will be released soon.
Benjamin Zephaniah with Jill Robinson MBE
Benjamin is one of Britain’s best loved poets, included in “The Times” list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers. In March 2010 he included a visit to the Chengdu sanctuary in a literary tour of China and has since drawn public attention to the work of Animals Asia.
David Shepherd CBE
In 2007 internationally-acclaimed wildlife artist David Shepherd undertook his first painting of a moon bear. His subject was, of course, Jasper. Prints from the original painting have been sold by both Animals Asia and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) and profits from the sales have been divided between the two charities. Animals Asia is honoured to have shared numerous fundraising events with DSWF and hopes to welcome David to the China sanctuary at some stage in the future.