A BEAR rescue group has thanked Malvern's shoppers for their support in keeping the animals safe.

Animals Asia, which was set up to protect bears and other animals from cruelty in China and Vietnam, raised more than £300 in a street collection in Malvern last Saturday.

The charity helps save bears from being killed for medicine or being abused in zoos.

Christine Coldrick, Worcestershire co-ordinator for Animals Asia, said: "At our collection in Malvern on Saturday we raised £321.05, and I would like to thank everyone who gave so generously.

"Animals Asia was founded in 1998 to protect and rescue Moon Bears, who are kept in tiny cages and appalling conditions in China and Vietnam, so they can be used for the agonising extraction of bile from their gall bladders for use in Chinese medicine.

"Since then, the charity has extended its activities to the welfare of cats and dogs in China, where they are often abandoned and sometimes sold in meat markets, and to the protection of animals in the country's zoos and safari parks, where they often suffer abuse.

"More information can be found on the Animals Asia website at www.animalsasia.org and anyone wishing to help with future fundraising in Worcestershire can contact me on chriscoldrick@gmail.com "