FAQs

Find answers to all your questions here. From how our education programmes are implemented to how you can help.

Who we are and why ACTAsia exists

What we do

ACTAsia is an Asian founded multifaceted charity that believes in education to drive long term sustainable change. We focus on the need to educate Asian children, consumers and professionals to be kinder towards animals, to show respect for people and to protect the environment. ACTAsia’s award-winning Caring for Life education programmes offer innovative research-led platforms that are designed to create institutional change across the region and are already addressing the root causes of the issues that Asia is facing.

Why do we focus our work in Asia

Asia is the earth’s largest and most populous continent, covering approximately 30% of the earth’s total land area and constituting approximately 60% of the world’s population. Rapid economic development, advances in technological innovation, and huge population growth is rapidly transforming Asia. These dynamic changes and developments often come at the cost of animals, people and the environment. We are an Asian founded charity and we strongly believe in the power of education to equip Asian nationalities with the tools to build a more compassionate world. We do this because education helps increase awareness and understanding of the sentience and interconnectivity of all living things, something which can be lacking in parts of Asian society owing to a complex range of historical, political and socio-economic factors. 

Why does China feature so much in your work

China is the world’s most populous country with the second largest economy in the world. High population has led to large-scale factory farming of animals and in turn the growth of crops for animal feed. China is an important player in the global arena, given its sheer size and the inevitable demands made by humans on animals and the environment. In China, just like in all countries, there are a variety of issues relating to the way many humans interact with animals, each other, and the environment. 

Another concern in China relates to the one-child policy that came into force in 1979. This has led to a recognised condition known as ‘the little emperor syndrome’. It results from the lavishing of attention and consumer goods onto an only child, who has no healthy competition from siblings. A study into the One Child Policy has found that ‘little emperors’ have trouble building close relationships, find it difficult to share and are less conscientious. Now that many ‘little emperors’ are parents themselves, the problem is being passed to the next generation.

China’s rapid development and economic growth, along with its large population, offers both a great need, and a great opportunity, for ACTAsia’s work. 

Are we recognised globally

ACTAsia has been awarded NGO Consultative status accredited by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). ACTAsia has also been recognised as an example of UN Good Practice for its Caring for Life Children’s education programme and accepted by the UN into its Conscious Fashion & Lifestyle Network.  These are significant achievements for ACTAsia, as UN accreditation is recognised worldwide, enabling ACTAsia’s work to be highlighted globally. 

Where is ACTAsia registered?

ACTAsia is registered as a non-profit organisation in the UK, the Netherlands, and Australia, with 501(c)3 status in the US and offices in China and ACTAsia has a Special Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC.

Why is there a need to provide veterinary training in China and why is there a need for ACTAsia to help?

In many countries, people take it for granted that vets understand animal welfare and know how to deal with domestic pets like cats and dogs.  However, in China veterinary knowledge is often limited to the theoretical education they receive with very little practical training. Veterinary training courses typically focus on animal husbandry given China’s rural economy and pet ownership is only starting to become popular. The concept of animal welfare and understanding that animals are sentient beings is not widely recognised.

This is why ACTAsia works with our partners at Vets for Compassion (Australia) to host regular workshops, where veterinarians learn theory, practical skills and best practice, including animal welfare and understanding sentience. Topics include the best anesthesia techniques for surgery, current spay and neuter methods, how to manage pain, and how vaccination programmes can control rabies (zoonotic diseases) in communities. ACTAsia actively promotes responsible pet ownership, works with local animal protection groups and encourages collaboration between vets and government officials.

Our trainee vets go on to become trainers themselves, sharing their new knowledge and techniques with their colleagues. This peer-to-peer training helps ACTAsia maximise resources and enables the new methods to be shared wider and more effectively. 

ACTAsia’s goal is for our veterinary trainers to be ambassadors for their profession, trusted within communities and looked to for guidance on animal welfare issues. ACTAsia wants to build the infrastructure for animal protection groups to be able to work on humane population management (dog and cat) programmes and build the trust of animal owners to seek out vets in order to prevent and treat animal diseases. 

Our work

Why does our work focus on educating children, consumers and professionals?

Why we educate children

In many Asian countries it is not uncommon for large numbers of adults to leave remote rural areas and head for developing urban cities to find work, but when they do, their children are left behind. As a result of this mass migration, there are now a staggering estimated 61 million ‘left-behind’ children living in remote rural areas without their parents in China. These children can miss out on the nurturing and moral guidance that they need to effectively develop good social awareness and empathy. In a world without parents, learning to be kind and compassionate to all living things is not always a given. 

ACTAsia’s Caring for Life education for children programme aims to help Asian children, aged between 6 and 12 years old, to develop a sense of compassion and responsibility for animals, people and the environment. Taught over six years and based on UNESCO’s Four Pillars of Education, the curriculum encompasses social welfare and citizenship, animal welfare and environmental issues. The course teaches children that all living things are interdependent and that the concept of One Health only comes from caring for all.

Why we educate consumers

ACTAsia’s work focuses on raising awareness surrounding the exploitation of animals, people and the environment in production methods for consumer related items, especially of animal-based and plastic products, such as meat, fur or plastic bottles. ACTAsia highlights the damaging impact of certain methods and offers suggestions for alternative, more compassionate choices so that consumers can consider the origin of their purchase and if the purchase is necessary. ACTAsia hosts an International Fur Free Sustainable Fashion Festival in major Chinese cities with renowned international speakers who discuss the ethical issues behind fur production, the environmental impact and the importance of sustainable fashion. ACTAsia also works with businesses that provide more sustainable products to consumers. This education is essential as information surrounding the true impact and suffering behind many day-to-day consumer goods in Asia isn’t readily available. Without ACTAsia’s pioneering work, people simply wouldn’t know the truth behind the adverts and products in this age of mass consumerism. 

Why we educate professionals

ACTAsia offers training and professional development to influential community members, such as veterinarians, lawyers, doctors, officials and journalists. ACTAsia works closely with teachers and vets meaning that they can in turn make informed decisions in their work, lead by example and educate and positively influence others. ACTAsia’s Vets for Change Veterinary Training is an education programme for veterinary practitioners which focuses on animal welfare and best practice, resulting in vets being able to work with animal owners and community leaders to reduce zoonotic disease (when a disease jumps from an animal to humans) and prevent animal cruelty. 

ACTAsia has also recently established a Compassion in Fashion Course – the first online course to address fur free and sustainable fashion for fashion students and professionals and which aims to steer future generations towards a fur free future. ACTAsia recognises that by engaging a network of professionals, we can spread our message of compassion and kindness further and more effectively through institutional change.

Why is there a need to provide veterinary training in China and why is there a need for ACTAsia to help?

In many countries, people take it for granted that vets understand animal welfare and know how to deal with domestic pets like cats and dogs.  However, in China veterinary knowledge is often limited to the theoretical education they receive with very little practical training. Veterinary training courses typically focus on animal husbandry given China’s rural economy and pet ownership is only starting to become popular. The concept of animal welfare and understanding that animals are sentient beings is not widely recognised.

This is why ACTAsia works with our partners at Vets for Compassion (Australia) to host regular workshops, where veterinarians learn theory, practical skills and best practice, including animal welfare and understanding sentience. Topics include the best anesthesia techniques for surgery, current spay and neuter methods, how to manage pain, and how vaccination programmes can control rabies (zoonotic diseases) in communities. ACTAsia actively promotes responsible pet ownership, works with local animal protection groups and encourages collaboration between vets and government officials.

Our trainee vets go on to become trainers themselves, sharing their new knowledge and techniques with their colleagues. This peer-to-peer training helps ACTAsia maximise resources and enables the new methods to be shared wider and more effectively. 

ACTAsia’s goal is for our veterinary trainers to be ambassadors for their profession, trusted within communities and looked to for guidance on animal welfare issues. ACTAsia wants to build the infrastructure for animal protection groups to be able to work on humane population management (dog and cat) programmes and build the trust of animal owners to seek out vets in order to prevent and treat animal diseases. 

How does ACTAsia help animals?

ACTAsia’s children’s education programme, Caring for Life, helps primary school children develop compassion and a sense of active responsibility for animals. The curriculum is carefully designed to increase awareness and understanding of the sentience of animals and the interconnectivity of all living things. In addition, critical thinking and psychosocial skills developed through the programme increases the development of emotional intelligence. By educating children about their impact on animals, we can help establish a generation of people who will show compassion and kindness in their decision making and cultivate a future society that takes greater care of animals and the planet.

Through our extensive Vets for Change Veterinary Training programme, we educate vets across Asia in best practice. Vets learn about the animals’ sentience, anaesthesia techniques for surgery, current spay and neuter methods, the importance of pain management, and how vaccination can control rabies. ACTAsia also promotes responsible pet ownership through education. ACTAsia’s trainer vets ensure that when an animal is in need and arrives at a qualified vet, they receive the best care possible. As a result, the owners can rest assured that their animals will receive good welfare throughout their treatment. 

ACTAsia actively campaigns to put an end to factory farming. This practice is harmful and cruel to animals and increases the spread of zoonoses (when a disease jumps from an animal to a human). Furthermore, when animals are caged and confined, it provides the ideal breeding ground for new diseases to emerge. 

ACTAsia actively campaigns for a ban on fur in the fashion industry. Each year we hold a sustainable, fur-free fashion show in China, advocating compassionate alternatives to real fur. ACTAsia’s Fur Free programme operates with the Fur Free Retailer scheme. We inform consumers of the story behind fur, the brutal cruelty and catastrophic environmental damage that result from fur production.

Through our Children’s Education programme we use animals as focus points to engage and connect children to their animal counterparts and reinforce the interconnection between each other, animals and the environment, having this understanding embedded within their decision making for the future will change the approach people make to animals, being able to use compassion and kindness and show care to animals within their daily lives and the environment in which they all live.

How does ACTAsia help people?

ACTAsia’s award winning Caring for Life education programmes for children, consumers and professionals are helping to promote humane behaviour towards humans, animals and the environment by providing educational programmes for schools and universities to encourage principles of compassion and empathy, care and respect, animal sentience and civic responsibility.

ACTAsia’s CFL education for children is revolutionising the way that children interact with each other, animals and the environment. Humane education which is often referred to as PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) is widely taught in the west but is not taught in Asian schools. Without these lessons, children are not taught vital life skills such as empathy, compassion, the importance of protecting animals and the environment and how all living creatures are interconnected.

ACTAsia also provides advice, assistance, training and support to members of the public and organisations on the subjects of human, animal and environmental welfare.  

ACTAsia is helping to reduce cases of rabies. Rabies is on the rise in China. Whilst this lethal disease seems a far cry from our everyday lives – it is very much an issue for parts of China. Rabies is a rare but very serious infection of the brain and nervous system and is usually caught from the saliva from a bite or scratch of an infected animal, most often a dog. China is working hard towards their policy of ‘Zero Rabies by 2025’ and ACTAsia has been instrumental in setting the wheels in motion towards achieving this goal. Among the human rabies cases, a significant proportion are children who are being infected with the rabies virus. Children are particularly at risk as figures from WHO indicate that 40% of people bitten by suspect rabid animals are under 15 years old.

How does ACTAsia help the environment?

ACTAsia’s CFL education programme for children actively works to raise awareness surrounding the threats to our planet – notably climate change, pollution, and deforestation. Educating and inspiring the next generation about the environment, biodiversity, and the need to consider sustainability is key to achieving lasting and meaningful change. For example, plastic pollution has been central to the fifth session of the recent United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA5). The goal of this summit has been to tackle global plastic pollution and discuss the development of the first international agreement to tackle the plastic crisis. While plastic has greatly facilitated our lives, it has also caused severe environmental problems. 

ACTAsia campaigns for an end to fur farming. The feed and keeping of fur farmed animals are the two main contributing factors to climate change. Producing feed for the millions of animals kept for fur comes with a severe ecological footprint. An LCA study conducted by CE Delft states: “The climate change impact of 1 kg fur is at least five times higher than the highest-scoring textile (wool) – due to the production of animal feed and manure emissions.” Energy is consumed at every stage of fur production. This is in addition to the energy costs of transporting the animal pelts and finished fur garments around the globe, throughout all the stages of the fur industry – from transporting feed to fur farms, shipping the animal pelts to international auctions and on to dressers, dyers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and finally to the consumer.

ACTAsia promotes plant-based diets to help the environment. One of the most effective things an individual can do to lower their carbon footprint is to avoid animal products. The production of meat and other animal products places a heavy burden on the environment – from the production of crops and the use of water required to feed the animals to the transport and other processes involved from farm to fork. In addition, the vast amount of grain feed required for meat production contributes to deforestation, habitat loss and species extinction. In Brazil alone, 5.6 million acres of land are used to grow soya beans for animals in Europe. This land contributes to developing world malnutrition by driving impoverished populations to grow cash crops for animal feed rather than food for themselves.

What is the Institute for Change and why is it important?

Find out more

How can you help

Why should I donate to ACTAsia?

ACTAsia strives for a more compassionate future for animals, people, and the environment in Asia. We work to build long term sustainable change in three key areas of society – children, consumers, and professionals. Your donation goes straight to the heart of our education programmes

How can I get involved? 

There are many ways you can get involved with ACTAsia.

Who are our partners?

Our valued partners enable us to collaborate effectively across the globe.