#MoonBearDay2019: Join the movement to end cruel bear bile farming forever in Vietnam

Moon bear Bradley tastes freedom at Animals Asia's Chengdu Bear Rescue Centre, 2013

We’ve convinced the Vietnamese authorities to end bear bile farming, now we need the world to stand together to make it happen.

The first time I heard someone call me Moon Bear Jill, it made me smile, and it still gives me a thrill to hear it now all these years later. To be associated with such incredible animals is an absolute privilege and always will be.

I’ve spent over 25 years of my life loving these bears and helping to give them a voice and if I had it to do all over again, I’d do exactly the same because no species so desperately needs our help like the thousands of poor moon bears trapped on bile farms throughout Asia.

What they endure is truly a life sentence and what is done to them is so utterly unfair because not only are they wholly innocent, but none of their suffering is necessary.

The medicine drained through such brutal means is already completely replaced by herbal and synthetic alternatives. They are the victims of an unwilling sacrifice – a tragedy that has seen them so horribly exploited for their “liquid bags of gold”.?

Bile extraction with a metal catheter on a moon bear

Their hope lies in Animals Asia, and I’m immensely proud that the organisation I founded in 1998 and still run today has rescued over 600 bears. That is 600 bears for whom the nightmare is over. 600 individuals finally free of pain and able to make simple, everyday choices to live their lives as they please in our award-winning sanctuaries.

But the truth is, I could work for 25, or 50, or 100 more years to end bear bile farming and it wouldn’t happen. Because nobody can do it alone. Not me. Not you. Not anyone on their own.

Our immense work over the years has convinced the Vietnamese government to work in direct partnership with Animals Asia to close every farm and rescue every bear, but now we need the world to make it happen.

We need every animal lover, compassionate individual, conservationist and morally-guided person to stand together to make change.

It’s not enough for you or me personally to know and be outraged – we have to make sure that everybody else knows too. We all have a responsibility to ensure that everyone learns about the bears: both their incredible, playful, stoic, forgiving personalities – and the unthinkable cruelty carried out against them.

That’s why Animals Asia has launched #MoonBearDay2019. We have to all stand up and be counted. We have to let the world know that this exceptionally special species is the most exploited bear on the planet, but also that we – together – can end their suffering.

This #MoonBearDay2019, I’ll be on holiday, wearing my Animals Asia T-shirt with pride and telling everyone I meet what it means: that innocent moon bears suffer in their thousands and they can be part of making it stop.

I’ll be letting everyone know that they can join the global movement to protect the bears. They just have to put their hand up, high.

And no matter what else I’m doing that day, I’ll make sure I get online to celebrate #MoonBearDay2019. I’ll put the #MoonBearDay2019 filter on my social media profile picture. I’ll take a photograph of whatever I’m able to do – whether going for a walk, calling our bear teams in China or Vietnam, or cooking my family dinner – and upload it with the hashtag. I’ll sign the pledge because every voice counts and I want to be part of this change.?

Mara (left) playing with Mausi (right) in their enclosure, VBRC

I am just one part of a global movement to end bear bile farming, and I’d love everyone to stand with me. Because that’s the only way we can end it. Together.

Now is the time to stand side-by-side for moon bears.?Sign the pledge?with me to join the global movement against cruelty to moon bears. Alone, we can’t help a single bear, but together, in our thousands, we can end the cruelty of bear bile farming forever in Vietnam.

And whatever you are doing on #MoonBearDay2019 on August 8, please do it for the bears and let everyone know you care.

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