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.
It was 20 years ago when Jill Robinson MBE first walked into a bear bile farm and uncovered one of Asia's darkest secrets. The young animal lover found sweet, Asiatic black bears incarcerated in tiny wire cages with rusting metal catheters implanted in their abdomens through which bile was being extracted for use in traditional medicine.
I heard talk of the current session of parliament ending ready for party conference season, making me think back to when I worked in an office and the three weeks leading up to our Christmas shindig was a nightmare of people preparing for our get together like it was the only time they'd ever been to a party.