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FOUR PAWS uncovers illegal bear baiting in Ukraine


Update from 29th of July 2013


Dear friends,

Due to the upcoming meeting with ROYAL CANIN, we want to inform you that we will stop our protest mail site until further notice.


In this meeting FOUR PAWS will emphasise the need for a swift and lasting solution for the affected bears in Ukraine.

We will keep you updated!

International pet food manufacturer ROYAL CANIN involved in sponsoring bear baiting

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The international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has uncovered a scandal: in recent months the globally-operating French manufacturer of dog and cat food ROYAL CANIN has sponsored brutal, illegal bear baiting in Ukraine.


FOUR PAWS is in possession of a video documenting a contest sponsored by ROYAL CANIN which took place in April 2013 in the woods near Vinnytsia, Ukraine. Over several hours, at approximately ten-minute intervals, two to three dogs are set on a chained brown bear. An audience looks on as the dogs attack and bite the bear, which can put up almost no defence. It cannot move freely as it is attached to a chain tied to a rope above. Several men at the ends of the chain control every movement of the bear, dragging it around the fight area. A referee awards points to the individual dogs. Trophies carrying the ROYAL CANIN logo await the owners of the most aggressive dogs.


Four to six times per year contests take place in special training camps for hunting dogs in Ukraine. FOUR PAWS has evidence that ROYAL CANIN has sponsored several of these gruesome spectacles over recent months. ROYAL CANIN has confirmed to FOUR PAWS its involvement in the event in April, but declines any meeting on the matter.

FOUR PAWS calls on ROYAL CANIN not only to stop sponsoring these cruel contests once and for all, but also to take on the responsibility for the future of the tortured bears.


FOUR PAWS estimates there to be between 15 and 20 baiting bears in Ukraine. They live cruel lives in tiny cages with nothing but a concrete floor, and they are only released from these cages for training or to be attacked by hunting dogs. They are usually given insufficient food and water, to make them weaker opponents for the dogs. Most also have their claws removed.

Baiting bears come from zoos, circuses or the wild. They are taken from their mothers at just a few months of age. How cruel this is for both mother and cub was documented on video by FOUR PAWS last year. In May 2012 ruthless animal dealers took a female cub, Nastia, from a zoo in Lutsk. She was only four months old and screamed as she was brutally torn away from her mother. She was forced into a tiny cage and taken to Vinnytsia. In July 2012 the animal welfare organisation was able to free her from the clutches of the dealers and take her back to her mother. In November 2012 Nastia was able to move into the Nadiya Bear Rescue Centre in Zhytomyr, newly built by FOUR PAWS. There is space for at least two more bears in the sanctuary.

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