Of all the ways in which bears are mistreated around the world, the medieval sport of bear baiting must be the most barbaric and obscene. The setting of pit bull terriers against bears inflicts appalling suffering on both animals. This activity, which was once widespread in Europe, is now only found is rural parts of Pakistan. Thankfully, after five years of campaigning, there are signs that bear baiting will be banished from this last stronghold.

Bear baiting has been illegal in Pakistan for more than 100 years, but WSPA's first investigation, undertaken in 1993, found evidence of 80 different contests involving 300 bears. Pakistan wildlife expert Inayat Chaudry, who undertook the survey, uncovered for the first time a network of hunters, wildlife dealers, gypsy bear owners and land owners which enabled bear baiting to thrive. And he revealed how the bears, whose teeth and claws were removed, were virtually defenceless against an onslaught from as many as eight dogs in one day.

he events are all organised with the full backing of local authorities and dignitaries, largely because the keenest promoters of the fights are rural landlords who wield huge power in Pakistan. They own and train pit bull terriers and gain prestige from having the most ferocious animals. The bears are owned by a gypsy group, known as kalanders, who specialise in training animals. The gypsies are paid by the landlords to bring the bears to the contests. In all, Chaudry identified 2,400 separate fights at the many different contests, all of which took place between December and March.

•Horrific Baiting Story•

Read More about bear bating in pakistan here.

Putting an End to a Cruel Sport

Action Against Cruelty

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