Famous faces help boost animal rights in China

A rights group says animal welfare is becoming an increasingly

trendy concern among ordinary Chinese as celebrities like

basketball star Yao Ming speak out against shark fin soup and bear

bile tonics.

The founder of the Hong Kong-based Animals Asia Foundation, Jill

Robinson, said Tuesday that she’s seen interest in animal rights

snowball in China over the last few years, spurred by support from

celebrity activists like Yao and shifting attitudes among young

people.

Robinson spoke at an event in Beijing calling for an end to bear

bile farming, the practice of extracting bile from the gall

bladders of living bears. Yao threw his support behind the cause

last week by visiting one of the group’s bear sanctuaries in

Sichuan province.