World Society for the Protection of Animals

Local networking saves bears from cruel contest

Bear baiting event, Pakistan

Bear baiting event, Pakistan

WSPA member society the Bioresource Research Centre Pakistan (PBRC) prevented a bear baiting event in February 2008, saving two bears from multiple violent attacks by powerful dogs.

WSPA and PBRC’s local networking programme enabled them to enlist support against the powerful landlords who arranged the event.

Landlords stand to make large profits from bets placed on the bloody contests, despite this cruelty being illegal in Pakistan and contrary to religious teachings.

Stopping the fight

PBRC, working with Punjab wildlife officials, managed to prevent the baiting taking place with a carefully planned and timed intervention.

But when the authorities attempted to confiscate the bears they were prevented from doing so by the influential landlords who had set up the lucrative event.

Removing bears from danger

PBRC remove the bear's chains, nose rope and bell collar

PBRC remove the bear's chains, nose rope and bell collar


Not to be deterred, PBRC contacted a local figure, Saad Ahmad Niazi, who had been recruited through the landlord networking programme, which also involves local religious leaders.

Once an organiser of bear baiting events, Saad now asks others to turn their back on this most savage of blood sports.

The landlords own only the dogs used in baiting events, so Saad appealed directly to the bear owners. He was able to convince them to surrender the bears, and offered to help them find cruelty-free future livelihoods.

A brighter future

The two bears which seemed destined to suffer ripped muzzles and multiple wounds are now settling into a new life the Kund Park Bear Sanctuary.

The surrender of further animals is currently being negotiated.

More about WSPA’s work with bear sanctuaries >>

More about bear baiting >>

Make a donation to our campaign to end bear baiting >>


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