Tag Archives: bear

Albania endemic animal cruelty

Albania restaurants are offering diners meat from illegally hunted bears – part of an illicit trade in wildlife that is “out of control” in the country, investigators claim.

Researchers said it was the first time they had seen bear meat cooked in Europe, and experts warned that the crude butchering of animals may lead to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases such as coronavirus, and many others. The investigaion took place in one of such a restaurants.

Bears, monkeys and birds of prey are among live animals being sold on popular Albanian online marketplaces, the investigation found, raising fears for the survival of some species in the country.

Animal-protection charity Four Paws discovered that two of Albania’s leading online sites were carrying dozens of adverts selling brown bears and other species that are legally protected to be killed an consumed as food.

Many photographs of the animals – along with foxes, barn owls and wolves – showed them with their mouths taped up or their claws chained.

It’s a profitable business: a tiny capuchin monkey was offered for €750 (£675), and a barn owl, a bear cub and a wolf for €500 each.

The buyers are mostly restaurant and hotel owners who keep the animals to attract tourists, or individuals who want the animals as pets and status symbols, charity workers said. But also for consumption as exotic meals.

Eagles, the national symbol of Albania, are especially popular with buyers and are often found stuffed as trophies in public places. In spite of the law delcaring them protected species, prohibiting them to be caged or sold,following a huge decline of native wildlife in the country, the implementation of law has been poor.

Although the offenders may be jailed for abuse, the overwhelming majority of the them escape justice.

Four Paws said that after its team reported some of the illegal adverts, they were deleted but new ones reappeared.

“A large majority of the photographs displayed severe animal cruelty, such as foxes with sealed muzzles in plastic boxes, bear cubs in chains and birds with their feet tied,” said Barbara van Genne, of the charity.

Monkeys and birds of prey are often kept in bars and restaurants in Albania as a tourist attraction, while foxes are sold for their fur, according to the investigators.

Wolves are bought to be cross-bred with dogs for the puppies to be sold as guard dogs, commonly used in the mountains against wolves. But other animals are killed, stuffed and put on display.

Animals’ mouths are often taped to prevent them biting and their feet chained to stop them running away.

Romania promises bear protection

The Ministry of the Environment in Romania promised to keep the brown bear under strict protection by carrying out a national strategy that deals with the threats affecting them: habitat destruction, climate change and human conflict.

Four bears were hit by car recently, with the last such an incident occurring on November 21 in the evening, on the E60 road in the Gaiesti village in Mures county.

On November 16 another bear was hit by a car, and then shot dead after a day of agony on the road. His injures did not allow him to move, and local authorities were unwilling to transport him to veterinarians.

The cruelty caused public outrage.

However the huntering lobby strated to ciruclate the information insisting there is overpopulation of bears in Romania. Claiming that three people were killed by bears in separate accidents. The scientific community has not stepped forward with their opinion so far.

Romania’s road safety performance improved by 4% between 2017 and 2018. However, Romania is still at the bottom of the EU performance list, with 96 deaths per million inhabitants last year.
In year 2017 1951 persons lost life in car accisents in Romania, among them 733 pedastrians.
Is the population of pedastirans in Romania also “overcrowded”?

Albania hell for animals ‘safari park’ closed

Four Paws reported they managed to  transfer the wild animals from “Europe’s worst zoo” in Fier, Albania, to a new shelter. “However, this is just a temporary situation, as we will look for species-appropriate accommodations for each one of them“, they added. The operation took place under supervision of Albanian police, entering the filthy prison for wild animals together with veterinarians from Four Paws, who initiated the rescue operation.

On October 23, the animal rights group said Albanian authorities had ordered the closure of the zoo which then followed the recent evacuation process.

Four Paws has been investigating Fier Safari Park Zoo since December 2015 but explained that because of legal regulations, it was not possible to intervene until now.

“Due to safety reasons, the owner of Safari Park Zoo was not informed in advance about the confiscation of the wild animals,” Four Paws statement read.

Russia regards bears as ‘strategic good’

Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation put forward a proposal of recognizing the bears as a strategically important resource of the country and prepared a draft of a relevant government resolution. The document was published on the federal portal of draft normative legal acts.

As such strategically important goods and resources, the draft resolution proposes to determine all populations of brown and Himalayan bears, as well as musk deer, taking into account their high demand in illegal foreign markets, which requires the establishment of special legal protection measures,” says the explanatory note.

On June 27, President Vladimir Putin signed the law passed by the State Duma earlier this month on amending this article of the Criminal Code, providing for criminal liability for the smuggling of strategically important goods and resources, including especially valuable wild animals.

According to the document, now “for certain types of strategically important goods and resources determined by the government of the Russian Federation, their value exceeds 100 thousand rubles.”

The draft of this law was submitted to the State Duma in January 2018 by a group of deputies who proposed amendments to the Criminal Code in the field of countering the smuggling of parts and derivatives of wild animals.

Earlier in June, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia sent a letter to the government proposing to include brown and Himalayan bears in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. According to the agency, this will help protect the spice from “illegal extermination” for the sake of selling “their parts and derivatives.”

In the letter, the Prosecutor General’s Office referred to official data, according to which “in 2016-2017 the customs authorities of the Trans-Baikal, Primorsky Krai, Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region seized or confiscated 189 paws of bear, 23 of them Himalayan, 122 canines, 54 claws, over 2 kg of bile of a bear in a dried form”.

At the end of last year, the Federal Security department for Transbaikal reported the detention of a local resident, who found 468 bear paws and 37 facial parts of elk heads in his car. This is the largest batch of animal derivatives seized in recent years, noted in the special services.

According to the department, the “goods” were intended for resale to Chinese citizens and smuggling to China. “To get such a number of bear paws and elk heads, the poachers had to kill more than 150 animals.

The letter of the Prosecutor General’s Office also included information from the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation on the reduction in the number of brown bears in Russia from 225.1 thousand individuals in 2015 to 143.7 thousand in 2017. “Despite the significant decrease in the number of brown bears, the limit of its permitted production is increasing every year,” the supervisory agency noted.

Bear gallbladder, liver, bile and testicles are prized in Chinese medicine, mostly as aphrodisiacs. A gall bladder can fetch up to $3000. Most bear parts are smuggled into China, Taiwan, and Korea from the Russia, Canada and Alaska (U.S.).

Bear meat is valued by Chinese as sexual-performance and health booster. A bowl of bear paw soup—prized delicacy at restaurants in China, Hong and Taiwan sells for hundreds of dollars.

Live animals are also highly praised in China for ‘bear banquet’. The bear is tortured to death in front of the diners. They enjoy the process explaining it makes the meat taste better. the coast of the bear banquet starts from  $10 000, depending on size of the animal to be consumed, conservationists report.