Ending bear baiting
We work to stop bears being cruelly exploited in bear baiting – an inhumane bloodsport where bears, unable to defend themselves, battle against trained dogs for entertainment
In rural Pakistan, large crowds gather to watch bears battle groups of trained dogs. The bears are captured and forced to endure immense pain even before they fight, with their canine teeth broken, muzzles painfully pierced with nose rings and claws often removed. The bears suffer terrible injuries, rarely living past the age of eight. When one bear dies, the cycle starts again, with more young wild bears forced into captivity and torment.
Bear baiting with dogs is illegal and causes intense, unjustified suffering – and you can help us put a stop to it
Bear baiting: our work
Since 1997, we’ve been working with the Pakistan Bioresource Research Centre (BRC) to end bear baiting. As a result, together we've decreased the number of bear baiting events dramatically. Bears are now able to live better lives, and so are their owners. Our work includes:
- Preventing bear baiting events, by working with wildlife officials and local partners to share information
- Strengthening legislation and making sure laws banning bear baiting are enforced
- Seeking new legislation that will make it illegal to own a bear, or will at least ban the use of bears for baiting, dancing and begging
- Reducing demand for bear baiting, by working with teachers, religious leaders and influential landlords to promote animal protection and raise awareness that bear baiting contravenes Islamic teachings
- Offering alternative livelihoods for bear owners, so that they leave bear baiting behind for good
- Providing sanctuary for bears who are surrendered or rescued from bear baiting – though our ultimate goal is for bears to remain in the wild
- Exposing cruelty, by monitoring, uncovering and tacking the exploitation of bears, including bear dancing and begging, which may be increasing as bear baiting declines.
With your support, we can stop bears being subjected to a lifetime of pain and distress in Pakistan.
Take a bird’s-eye view of the Balkasar bear sanctuary in Pakistan funded by our amazing supporters.
Note: The first bears you see on the video are in quarantine until they are given a clear bill of health to move freely into the larger sanctuary areas.
Bear-baiting progress: in numbers
- 25 bears involved in bear baiting in 2019 down from 300 in 2000
- Over 14,000 mosques visited to spread the word about our work
- Over 600 landlords moved to support our work
- Over 50 bears living peacefully at the Balkasar sanctuary
Find out about our work to end the cruel bear bile industry.