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Calvin Ayre Teams With Activist to Fight Bear Bile Farming

Saturday, September 02, 2006
Calvin Ayre has teamed with world-renowned animal activist Jill Robinson for a campaign aimed at raising international awareness about the horrific practice of bear bile farming.

Calvin Ayre, theCalvin Ayre, the founder of Bodog.com
Calvin Ayre, the founder of Bodog.com
  billionaire business mogul behind the Bodog.com entertainment brand, has teamed with world-renowned animal activist Jill Robinson for a campaign aimed at raising international awareness about the horrific practice of bear bile farming. Ayre, who also serves as chairman of his own international foundation, is in Asia filming a public service documentary, which will be shown on major networks around the world this fall.

It is simply unimaginable," says Ayre, who was recently dubbed by Forbes Magazine as one of the world's wealthiest entrepreneurs. "Thousands of these bears are locked into tiny cages – literally smaller than they are – and prodded daily in order to extract bile from their gall bladders. These bears can be tortured this way for up to 20 years, and are even said to chew off their own limbs because of the sheer pain. Our goal is to raise international awareness about this horrific practice and spark discussion about alternatives to the use of bear bile."

As chairman of the Calvin Ayre Foundation, Ayre has been overseas working in conjunction with the Stop-Bear-Farming organization, and Animal Asia Organization's Jill Robinson and Annie Mather to fund the construction and maintenance of the Bodog.com Bear Sanctuary in Vietnam, which is slated to be opened this fall.

Ayre and Robinson have also been filming a 30-minute documentary that will serve to educate the public on bear bile farming practices, and show how concerned citizens can help the cause by avoiding the usage of products made from bear bile.

Close to 10,000 bears in China, Korea and Vietnam are being locked in tiny "crush cages" where bile is extracted from their gall bladders for use in, among other things, traditional Chinese medicines, eye drops and hairspray.

The Calvin Ayre Foundation is active in supporting charitable causes throughout the world. Founded by Ayre in 2004, the Foundation's aim is to achieve meaningful and lasting improvements in the environment and in the lives of disadvantaged individuals and communities. The Foundation focuses on promoting greater equity in five broad areas: Environment, Education, Social Development, Child Welfare and Animal Welfare.

"Through the Foundation, we're able to cross international borders," Ayre says. "With fewer barriers, we are better able to offer support for meaningful charitable causes."

The Calvin Ayre Foundation supports the charitable initiatives of other organizations, as well as those goals it lays out for its own projects. Some of the long-term initiatives the Foundation is working on include the sponsorship of the higher education needs of underprivileged youth.

Other large-scale initiatives the Foundation supports include the Sponsor-A-School Project and the Sponsor-A-Family Project. These programs are the core of the Foundation, which directly manages its money and the allocation of funds to the various initiatives under its mandate.

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