From May 5th, Animals Asia will convert a bear bile farm in Nanning, China, into a sanctuary following a request by the farm to rescue and care for its 130 bears. Mr Yan Shaohong, General Manager of the bear farm, has described the decision as one fuelled by the desire for the company to get out of the increasingly unpopular and ultimately unprofitable industry.
Much animal suffering is not immediately obvious and visible. They are forced to suffer long, arduous journeys and extended periods tied up, chained or caged - with no freedom of movement. Housed in temporary, transportable accommodation, it is simply not possible for circuses to provide an appropriate environment for wild animals.
The Grand National is - by design, no less - an accident waiting to happen. Forty horses compete for space on the 4.5mile course fraught with obstacles, jumps and dangerous terrain. Last year, only 17 horses - fewer than half - managed to reach the finishing post. And while the race organisers were quick to highlight an unusual absence of fatalities, they failed to mention that two horses were killed in the run-up to the event earlier that week. More than three dozen horses who might otherwise have been grazing and running in the fields have been killed at Aintree in the last 50 years.
This is what a great number of cosmetic companies are actually saying both on their packaging and on their websites when you read a message stating: "not tested on animals", or "product not tested on animals" and even "cruelty free". It is difficult to believe, but I am afraid that I am the harbinger of bad news!
Anyone who takes Muslims and Jews to task for brutal methods of slaughter yet eats meat regardless of the suffering involved is no less callous. Does the matter of a few more seconds of suffering as they are slaughtered make much difference to the animals who, during their entire short lives, have been treated with unthinking savagery?