years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Animals Asia is appalled by the practice of bear-baiting. It is a cruel, barbaric and unnecessary “sport” involving immense pain and suffering for both bears and dogs alike. Bears that have had their teeth and claws forcibly removed are tied to a post and dogs are released to attack them. This practice is one of the most horrific blood sports still in existence.
Each “fight” reportedly lasts for three rounds and as the bear tires, he or she is dragged to the ground sustaining horrendous injuries mainly to the mouth and nose as the dog rips at the bear’s face. If the bear is dragged to the ground, the dogs are declared the winners; if the bear remains on his or her feet after three rounds, the bear is declared the winner. As well as the injuries to the bear, the dogs also sustain horrific injuries. The owners of the bears and the dogs will stop the fight before either animal is killed to ensure the animals can be used again for future fights.
Bear-baiting takes place in the Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan and is illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1890 and under the Pakistan Wildlife Act. It is also illegal under Islamic Law to bait animals. The keeping of bears is illegal in the Punjab province and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is working to make the keeping of bears illegal in Sindh Province.
WSPA estimates that in the past, around 300 bears and 1,000 dogs were used in the practice at any one time. The WSPA campaign within Pakistan has led to an increased awareness of this illegal activity and subsequently a reduction in the number of animals used.
WSPA and Pakistan Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) are working to end bear-baiting and report increasing efforts to end the practice by the Pakistani Government and wildlife officials, but more action is still needed. WSPA has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pakistani government to confiscate bears and release them into the WSPA-built Kund Park Bear Sanctuary. A second sanctuary is now being built to accommodate the remaining bears used in this despicable industry.
Bears involved in this horrific practice are Asiatic black bears and brown bears, which have often been trapped as cubs in the wild. Both species are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and therefore face a high risk of extinction in the wild.
For more information on bear-baiting, please click here.
Bear-baiting was popular in England until the 19th century, with specially constructed “arenas” and “pits” for the fighting. The practice was banned in the UK by the enactment of the Cruelty to Animals Act in 1835.