Bear rescue centre saved from closure
HA NOI (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered that the Tam Dao Bear Rescue Centre remain open, ending a months-long controversy that generated international exposure.
|A bear receives a periodic health check-up by foreign medical experts in the Tam Dao Bear Rescue Centre in northern Vinh Phuc Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
Tuesday's directive came in response to a recent proposal to evict the centre, which Animals Asia, the nonprofit that manages the centre, vehemently opposed.
The resulting campaign to save the sanctuary attracted press coverage around the globe, putting pressure on the Vietnamese government to stop the eviction.
The PM also asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to review the performance of the Tam Dao National Park director concerning the proposed eviction. Any wrongdoing on his part would be strictly punished, Dung said.
The Tam Dao Bear Rescue Centre is the only rescue centre in Viet Nam dedicated solely to rescuing bears from illegal bile farms. It is located inside Tam Dao National Park in Vinh Phuc Province, about 70km north of Ha Noi.
Since the centre opened in 2008, Animals Asia has invested more than US$2 million in construction and a further $2.3 million in operational costs.
Under the current agreement between the nonprofit and the Vietnamese government, the centre will continue to operate until 2014. — VNS