Although the requirements for the keeping of wild animals were 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, many bears still suffer in Ukraine.
- a governmental solution for the bears that are to be confiscated under Article 25 of 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 centers
- a ban on all privately kept bears, including bears kept at hunting stations and privately with trainers, except for licensed rescue and rehabilitation centers and proper zoos
- a ban on breeding with an exception for coordinated and registered conservation breeding programs by reputable zoological institutions
- a ban on the keeping of bears for circuses
- a registration and licensing procedure for sanctuaries, rehabilitation centers, 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 of the Ukrainian Law “On the protection of animals from cruelty";
- supports national legislative initiatives that aim to put an end to ALL private wild animal keeping, except of licensed rescue and rehabilitation centers and proper zoos;
- prepares and submits suggestions to working groups dedicated to different animal welfare laws that 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 our vision on the species-appropriate keeping of wild animals in captivity in Ukraine to raise awareness for the topic.
To date, FOUR PAWS has rescued 28 bears from cruel private keeping, including bear Laska. Former fighting bear Laska was successfully transferred to our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr in 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 horrendously used for the training of hunting dogs.