Animal Cruelty on Display at the Bear Baiting Events in Pakistan

Bear Baiting is a type of exhibition where a captive bear is attacked by a bunch of hunting dogs for the sake of public’s entertainment. These events occur chiefly in Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan.

At these events, a captive bear is brought and is shackled to a nearby fence or pole in order to restrict his movement. At the time of the fight, a bunch of trained wild dogs are let loose on the defenseless bear. Each fight takes place for around 3 minutes. In those three minutes, the dogs, contest to thrust the bear to the ground. If the dogs are unable to do so and if the bear is still able to stand on his feet, then he is declared as the winner of the fight. Many a times in these competitions the young and the inexperienced bears end up getting several deep bruises and scars.

In Pakistan, Asiatic Black bears and Brown bears are used in the baiting exhibition. These Bears are captured by the herders, who sell them to the Qalandar community in Pakistan. The Qalandar folks do the nurturing and training of the bear. These people are paid by the local landlords for presenting their bear in the fight. At a young age the claws and the front sharp teeth of the bear are removed. This often leaves them with a disadvantage in the fight.

Brown Bear Used In Bear Baiting
Black Bear Used In Bear Baiting

Types of Bears: Usually the Asiatic Black bears or the Brown bears are used in the fight.

Bear Tied To A Rope

Fastened: The bear is tied to a few meter long rope to limit its movement.

Bear Baiting Dogs

Bear Baiting Dogs: Usually a pair of wild dogs are chosen to compete against the bear.

Repetitive Fights Between Bear And Dogs

Repetitive Fights: The bears have to go through numerous fights in each event.

Dog Attacking The Bear

Soft Targets: Dogs mainly target the sensitive, prone regions of bear such as the chin, muzzle and ears.

Bear Baiting Injuries

Fight Injuries: The bear undertakes several injuries during the fight. These cuts and bruises are left untreated by their owners.

Contesting bear baiting events is illegal in Pakistan under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act (1890). Contesting such fights is also boycotted in the Quran. In spite of all this, such events are still conducted by the local landlords in Pakistan for getting public’s admiration. These landlords have huge influence and supremacy over the local people. These events occur with full backing of local police and government officials. Due to WSPA’s initiatives, Pakistan authorities have been able to rescue and relocate these captive bears to some extent.

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