In rural Pakistan, up to 2,000 spectators will assemble to watch a tethered and clawless bear set upon by trained fighting dogs.
WSPA is working hard to permanently stop what we believe is one of the world’s most savage blood sports.
The brutal but lucrative contests are organised by powerful local landlords. They own and train the dogs, which are also victims of this 'sport', encouraging ferocity in attack situations.
The bears are owned by Kalanders – traditional bear owners –who are paid by the landlords to bring the bears to fight.
Bear baiting is banned by the Pakistan Wildlife Act and contravenes Islamic teachings, which forbid the baiting of animals.
Dogs attack during a bear baiting event, Pakistan
© WSPA/Mark Rissi
WSPA and member society the Pakistan Biodiversity Research Centre (PBRC) have helped to dramatically reduce the number of bear baiting events in recent years, by:
- Campaigning to bring awareness of international opposition to the ‘sport’ to the Pakistani authorities.
- Working with the Pakistani government and wildlife officials to halt the fights and look at alternative livelihoods for bear owners.
- Monitoring the numbers of captive bears and pushing for prosecution.
- Building the Kund Park sanctuary, providing a home for confiscated bears.
- Educating potential spectators through a mobile phone awareness unit and religious teachings. Our anti-bear baiting message has been delivered in over 9,000 mosques to a potential audience of over 1 million people.
- Calling for greater action to prevent illegal bear cub poaching. A Pakistan-wide educational programme has raised awareness of the issue.
Support our work
Thanks to your help, WSPA has tracked down and stopped many bear baiting events. We’re getting closer to ending this brutal blood sport altogether.
But there is still much more work to be done.
WSPA needs to gain political support for our call to make bear ownership illegal. Please support us so more wild bears can be made safe to enjoy a life free from fear and injury.