AN international animal protection group has thanked generous Bewdley shoppers after raising £312.84 at a street collection on Saturday (July 13).

The group was set up to save bears and other animals from cruelty in China and Vietnam.

Christine Coldrick, Worcestershire Co-ordinator for Animals Asia, said: "We’re absolutely delighted at the amount we collected, which is the most we have ever raised in Bewdley.

“My grateful thanks also to Wyre Forest Vegans, who sent volunteers to help us.

"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."