The first humane education centre supported by animal welfare activists and Chinese medicine practitioners will open in the New Territories this month. EarthCare has raised $400,000 for the Kam Tin centre which organisers say is the first step towards more humane care of animals. The 50,000 square metre centre will feature an animal orphanage, a herb garden stocked with alternatives to animal parts used in Chinese Medicine and a multi-media education display. Vice-president Dr John Wedderburn said EarthCare had given up asking the Government for land and instead leased private agricultural land with help from the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the World Society for the Protection of Animals. The orphanage will have space for 30 unwanted and stray dogs. Dr Wedderburn said: 'It is not in competition with the RSPCA, it is not going to solve the problem. It is intended to be symbolic and educational.' The orphanage would encourage responsible pet ownership and more humane treatment for all animals, he said. President Ng Wai-yee said Chinese medicine practitioners would advise on the herbal alternatives to animal derivatives for the herb garden. She said most people could not afford medicines containing expensive parts of endangered animals and herbal substitutes were cheaper. The new education centre will include a display of bear bile farms and other controversial uses of animal parts.