Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge & West Devon was invited to Bideford Pannier Market to meet campaigners for the Animals Asia Foundation. Jackie Hallesy, who lives in Bideford set up the Northern Devon Support Group, and has been running a fundraising stall since the beginning of June.
The charity is devoted to the welfare of wild and urban animals in Asia, and works towards the preservation of endangered species. As part of this aim, the Moon Bear Rescue campaign aims to bring the barbaric practice of “bear farming” and the bile trade to an end.
The MP was shown the stall in the pannier market from which proceeds go towards the Moon Bear rescue campaign and was keen to learn more about the fundraising activities for the charity both locally and internationally. Geoffrey also took the opportunity to walk around the Pannier Market to meet traders and discuss issues affecting them.
Geoffrey said: “The UK government takes a strong stance on bear bile farming and its trade in the UK is banned irrespective of the source. Jackie is doing a marvellous job in raising awareness and funds for the campaign, which I strongly support, and I have written to the Minister to express the repugnance with which she, I, and so many others feel about this repellent practice, which invariably results in mistreatment and cruelty.”
Jackie’s stall will be at the Pannier Market throughout July, for more information, to offer a donation for the stall, or to see how you can help, visit www.animalsasia.org