Instead of bringing you a lovely autumn update on Jigsaw and his friends at Tam Dao NP, I need to share far more serious news with you and ask for your help, bigtime!
Animals Asia’s Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre faces eviction and relocation following an aggressive campaign against it by the director of Tam Dao National Park, Mr. Do Dinh Tien.
On Friday 5 October, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) informed Animals Asia that the Ministry of Defence has issued an order to evict the sanctuary operation and its 104 rescued bears.
If you want to read the full story and take action straightaway click here and you will go to Animals Asia’s site
Currently 104 bears rescued from the bear bile industry are living at the Rescue Centre. The bears are being rehabilitated after years of trauma from being locked up in small cages and milked for their bile. These bears – including JIGSAW – will be forced to return to cages to be relocated. It is likely to take at least two years to establish a new centre with outdoor enclosures. This will have a major negative impact on their mental and physical well-being.
The eviction notice follows the park director, Mr Tien, lobbying the Ministry of Defence to declare the sanctuary to be an area of “national defence significance”.
The claim that the land in question is an area of national defence significance is questionable, given that the Rescue Centre has been in operation since 2005 and that the Chat Dau Valley, where it is located, has been used for tourism and other private purposes since the park opened in 1996.
The park director has been pressuring Animals Asia to relinquish 6 hectares of land since April 2011. It is believed that he intends to hand the land over to the Truong Giang Tam Dao Joint Stock Company, in which his daughter has a 10% investment. It is believed that once the bear centre is forced to close, the land will be declared to no longer be of national defence significance, allowing the Truong Giang Joint Stock Company to take it over for private development. The company has submitted an application for development of an “eco-tourism park” and hotels.
Somewhat ironic given that moon bears, rescued from bear-bile farms, would appear to be the perfect companions for an enterprise establishing an “eco-tourism” park.
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 Tam Dao National Park that would permanently rehabilitate and house 200 endangered bears rescued from the illegal bear bile industry.
The centre was authorised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2005 and given project approval in a directive from the Prime Minister of Vietnam in 2008.
Based on this agreement, Animals Asia has invested over US$2 million in funding to build the rescue centre through developing the first 6 hectares. This funding was donated by thousands of people from around the world – just like YOU – who gave the money in good faith, hoping to help bears rescued from the bile industry.
It has been a great example of cooperation between an international charity, the Vietnamese government, the Vietnamese people, as well as supporters and donors around the world.
Now the case will go to the Prime Minister for a final decision. Due to the powerful status of the Ministry of Defence in Vietnam, it is feared that the Prime Minister will be forced to agree with the recommendation to close the centre. FURTHERMORE, It is currently unclear whether Animals Asia will be compensated for the relocation and its losses, or would need to find the funds to start construction again at a new location.
THIS MUST BE STOPPED!!
PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW TO HELP SAVE JIGSAW
AND ALL THE BEARS AT THE VIETNAM BEAR RESCUE CENTRE.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT ANIMALS ASIA’S “STOP THE EVICTION” PAGES