Bear baiting is a cruel hobby in the name of a sport which involves setting of fierce dogs to attack tethered bear. Nowadays, throughout the world people are responsive at this cruel sport mainly through the electronic media. Bear baiting is globally well thought-out to be an extremely cruel attitude towards an animal and constraints are developing to stop and eradicate this sport from Asia. Throughout Asia, Pakistan, India and China are considered to be the epicenters of the illegal activities being practiced concerning bears as poaching, smuggling of bear parts and involving them in baiting.
History of the bear baiting in Pakistan can be traced back to the British rule in sub-continent, where bull terriers were imported and gypsies were asked to use their bears for this filthy act, after which they were heavily rewarded by the landlords.
In Pakistan, the provinces of Sindh and Punjab are the places where this blood sport is commonly practiced mainly during winter season. These are usually organized at a festival or at the great dargahs or the hawelis of these land lords. This game can be at a small scale comprising of one bear and few dogs, and it can also be organized at a large scale including ten bears, more than forty dogs and thousands of spectators. In past, hundreds of bear baiting events were organized, illegally in Pakistan. As there is a proper defined law but the implementation is weak.
BRC developed a multipronged approach to attack the problem from different angles. BRC developed a strong network comprising of field workers and the local officials of the particular area, through which an access to even to the most secret hide outs where a bear baiting event is planned by the organizers has become a possibility. The information gathered from different areas is thus forwarded to the authorities to uphold the law to stop or to raid the event to capture the culprits. Mostly due to lacking of strong laws, this is the least possibility, but averting the event is the prime effort of the officials. BRC also has many successful confiscations at claim from such bear baiting events due to the its effectual strategies and ardent staff.
In Pakistan, bear baiting is banned under the Prevention of cruelty to animals act (1890), yet it is still being practiced to some extent due to lack of coordination between the officials and the organizers, also currently due to feudal government system, there has been a noticeable rise in the practice of this sport, especially in Sindh and somewhat in Punjab. Due to which the control over these events has also been affected to some extent. This year’s percentage of controlled events had been 78%. But still the efficiency and zeal of our team is at peak. Our broad network has great aptitude to cover wider areas, provide timely information, have the potentials to stop such events and have the capability to bring the culprits to book. Following is a graph of present statistics of bear baiting in Punjab and Sindh.
Our long term goals are:
1. To develop such strategies through which this sudden rise in events should be controlled by the authorities.
2. To provide the bear owners with a suitable livelihood, that is uprooting the main cause of the problem.
3. To further monitor the movement of bears from wild to these areas for future conservation of the bears in wild of Pakistan.
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