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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

IAR to take part in Asia's largest animal welfare forum in China

  International Animal Rescue representatives are travelling to China in June to take part in Asia's largest animal welfare forum. It will be the first time that the Asia for Animals Conference has been held in mainland China, as campaigners continue to monitor the nation's development of an animal welfare law.

Hong Kong-based NGO Animals Asia will host the Asia for Animals conference from June 10 to 14 in Chengdu, close to its award-winning rescue centre for Asiatic black bears. International Animal Rescue is sponsoring the event again this year, along with Animal Guardians, Animal People, Best Friends Animal Society, Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International, IFAW, RSPCA, SPCA Hong Kong, and WSPA.

The conference aims to spread ideas, with attendees from Asia and around the world sharing solutions and providing inspiration on how abuse can be reduced and ended.

The conference will look at a range of topics including tackling animal cruelty, improving the welfare of captive animals, practical solutions to improving the welfare of farm animals, tackling the trade in wild animals, the inhumane treatment of companion animals, wildlife conservation, and advice on developing legislation to protect animals from suffering.

Jill Robinson MBE, Founder and CEO, Animals Asia commented:

"In a continent where customers are eagerly consuming many species to extinction, where billions of unwilling victims of commercial trade and entertainment are murdered, mutilated and exploited, and where companion animals are suffering and dying in vast numbers, it is vital that animal welfare specialists can come together to share knowledge and expertise."

The lack of welfare legislation within China is a major hurdle for animal welfare organisations such as Animals Asia. Discussions with Chinese authorities elicit tacit support for our stance on many welfare issues, but in many situations the authorities cannot act because they have no legal framework on which to base any action.

Ms Robinson continued:

"The challenge we face is to develop the relationships with government officials, lawyers, academics and the public, to generate support for, and encourage the development of, such legislation. This is a long-term process, but one we are convinced will eventually reap rewards."

Animals Asia will launch the inaugural Asian Animal Welfare Awards at the event, which recognise the contributions of animal welfare supporters in the region. Nicknamed "The Andrews" in memory of the first bear Animals Asia rescued from a bile farm in China, the awards will cover a range of categories including Political Contribution, Outstanding Contribution in the Media and Most Promising Activist.

Ms Robinson said:

"We are looking forward to honouring those organisations and individuals who are making outstanding contributions to the advancement of animal welfare in Asia. Over the years, we have seen many selfless supporters, celebrities, government officials, corporations, campaign partners and students helping to improve the plight of wild and domesticated animals throughout Asia. Please help us to recognise these unsung heroes by nominating a deserving individual or organisation for an award."

Those interested in registering for the conference can do so by visiting the Asia for Animals website.

Notes to editors:

The Asia for Animals Conference has been held since 2001, and is hosted by a different Asia-based animal welfare organisation, in a different country for each event. Further information can be found on the Asia for Animals website.