SIR - I am writing to make your readers aware of the awful cruelty inflicted on animals, and bears in particular, in China.

It is beyond comprehension how anyone can keep an animal in a cage so small that it can't move, can pull out its teeth and claws, stick a metal spike through its body into its stomach to extract bile and leave it that way, trapped and in constant pain for the rest of its life (which can be 15 to 20 years).

This is all for a product, the benefits of which are exaggerated and which in any case can be manufactured.

There is a British woman in China who has devoted her life to having this practice stopped. Jill Robinson has formed a charity called Animals Asia. The address in this country is PO Box 835, Uxbridge UBX 0AX (e-mail Or perhaps readers would write to the Chinese Embassy or contact Jill. She and the bears need all the help they can get.

Leslie Dobson, Stonecroft, Bradford BD2 2HW