our plans for bears in Ukraine
FOUR PAWS' advocacy work in Ukraine
Although the requirements for the keeping of wild animals have been improved at the end of 2020 and the keeping and usage of bears, lions, tigers and some other wild animal species in restaurants, hotels, resorts, night clubs, private houses, apartments, and yards for certain entertainment/leisure purposes was banned in August 2021, bears still suffer in Ukraine.
In the framework of the #SaddestBears initiative, FOUR PAWS advocates for:
- a governmental solution for the bears that are to be confiscated under Article 25 on the Ukrainian Law “On the protection of animals from cruelty". This includes the official identification and registration of all bears, the prevention of breeding in the respective keepings and the gradual relocation of those animals to licensed sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres
- a ban on all privately kept bears including bears kept at hunting stations and privately with trainers except for licensed rescue and rehabilitation centres and proper zoos
- a ban on breeding with an exception for coordinated and registered conservation breeding programs by zoological institutions
- a ban on the circus keeping of bears
- a registration and licensing procedure for sanctuaries, rehabilitation centres and zoos
- higher requirements for the keeping of wild animals in licensed facilities (the improved requirements still provide inadequate standards for the keeping of bears and other wild animals in captivity)
To achieve this FOUR PAWS:
- supports the Government in finding a sustainable solution to phase out the keeping of bears that are to be confiscated under Article 25 on the Ukrainian Law “On the protection of animals from cruelty"
- supports national legislative initiatives which aim to put an end to ALL private wild animal keeping except of licensed rescue and rehabilitation centres and proper zoos
- prepares and submits suggestions to working groups dedicated to different animal welfare laws which ban the abuse of wild animals
- keeps a database of bear (and big cat) keepings in Ukraine, with updates on the number of wild animals, locations, and plans for possible rescues
- shares the vision on the species-appropriate keeping of wild animals in captivity in Ukraine to raise awareness for the topic
Till today FOUR PAWS has rescued over 30 bears from cruel private keeping, including bear Laska. Former fighting bear Laska was successfully transferred to BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr on 28 February 2019. Laska lived for years in intolerable conditions in the run-down Pokrovsk Zoo close to the city of Donetsk. We were able to verify that she was previously kept as a fighting bear and abused for training hunting dogs.