The animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has uncovered that pet food manufacturer ROYAL CANIN has sponsored brutal 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 brown bear. Audiences looks on as the dogs attack and bite the bear, who 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.
Baiting bears come from zoos, circuses or the wild. They are taken from their mothers at just a few months of age. Estimates that 15 and 20 baiting bears in Ukraine 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.
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.
CALL ON ROYAL CANIN TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
Now, after the scandal has caused an international storm and strong protests, ROYAL CANIN has officially contacted FOUR PAWS and a meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday.
ROYAL CANIN issued the statement saying:
“Royal Canin unreservedly apologises for sponsoring the event where the bear baiting took place. As a company with knowledge and respect for animals at our heart, we condemn any activities that harm or endanger animals.
Royal Canin has been absolutely horrified to see these images linked with our brand. The sponsorship of this event is not consistent with Royal Canin’s animal welfare policy, our philosophy of Pet First or our vision.
This has been a humbling experience for Royal Canin. We again thank Four Paws International for bringing this practice to our attention and in doing so reminding us that diligence in ensuring our policy is followed is paramount.
We look forward to working with all our partners to prevent animal cruelty through policy change and improved animal welfare practices. Specifically, Royal Canin will work to improve the welfare of the Ukrainian bears and dogs involved in bear-baiting.”
ROYAL CANIN WILL PLEDGE TO GIVE £250,000 TO FIND AND SAVE UP TO 20 BEARS!
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FOUR PAWS keep up the good work protecting and helping animals!