Campaigns and Lobbying:
- Import stop of dog- and cat fur: In August 2005 FOUR PAWS initiated a campaign against the import of dog and cat fur. To achieve this target we created a website (www.importstop.org (now offline)), where you could write a protest e-mail to the responsible ministers in the member states of the EU, Rumania, Bulgaria and Switzerland. Till the end of 2005 about 16,000 protest mails have been sent.
- Export refunds for cattles: In December 2005 the European commission finally decided on the cancellation of the export refunds for cattle. The export of living cattle is connected to large animal suffering, since the transportation takes many days and the animals are often supplied insufficiently with water and fodder and tormented with kicks and shacks by untrained personnel. The export funds contributed largely to this kind of transportation. FOUR PAWS is optimistic that these long-distance transports will be a thing of the past.
- Broiler Chicken: On the 30th of May 2005, the European Commission announced a proposal for a council directive laying down "minimum rules for the protection of chickens kept for meat production", and adopted one of the most important topics of animal protection in agriculture. In Europe approx. 5.5 billion broilers per annum are slaughtered!
Notwithstanding the auspicious name, the proposal can hardly be an improvement to animal welfare. Many problems - such as genetic selections on fast weight gain (broilers reach their slaughtering weight in only 32 days!), high stocking density, and the high mortality and disease due to intensive livestock husbandry - are not solved by this proposal.
Therefore FOUR PAWS compiled an alternative proposal for a genuine improvement for broilers and will further try cooperation with the policy-makers in Brussels to design an improvement.
- REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals): In 2005 a proposal for a new EU regulatory framework for chemicals was extensively discussed within the European Parliament and the European Council. After various meetings in the European Parliament, the dossier was passed to the first reading in plenary session in November. In December the solution was debated in Council with fervour.
From an animal protections perspective, the year 2005 attracted the broader attention of politicians to the problem of testing on animals. Parts of the dossier still could be defused or improved. Nevertheless FOUR PAWS is not satisfied yet and will continue working for the well-anchoring of alternative methods within the REACH-dossier.
- Humane Trapping Standards: Worldwide wildlife animals are hunted. Endangered species get killed. Animals are unnecessarily tortured. FOUR PAWS disapproves of this trapping, for there is no trap that is not cruel. There is no justifiable reason to hunt and kill animals so cruelly. Since the summer of 2004 there have been attempts to implement the so-called "humane trapping standards" for certain species. The draft submitted by the European Commission did not improve animal welfare at all - in fact it would have increased animal suffering! Moreover the proposal allows traps that kill the animals after a death struggle of five minutes. The use of traps that kill by drowning is particularly licentious yet it would have been legitimated.
The draft in its entirety never would have improved animal welfare; in actuality it would have codified hunting methods of unimaginable cruelty.
Therefore FOUR PAWS does not hesitate to take on this problem by continually trying to convince and clarify to politicians in Brussels of their responsibilities to oppose this repulsive scenario.
FOUR PAWS immediately contacted those members of the European Parliament who dealt with the commission's proposal, and on the 17th of November 2005, the European Parliament overwhelmingly rejected it. Surprised by the definite rejection, the European Commission decided to reconsider the human trapping standards and to arrange a scientific study on hunting by traps in all 25 countries of the EU. This was a big success for animals' protection and proof that lobbying by FOUR PAWS has a most reachable impact.
- Tsunami, Sri Lanka: After the devastating flood on the 26th of December 2004, FOUR PAWS acknowledged the region's needs and immediately started with emergency relief in January. A highly professional team of dogcatchers and stockman took action in the region Habaraduwa in the south of Sri Lankas, giving out inoculations in order to prevent the outbreak of infections and epidemics. Along with this, the abandoned animals were castrated and marked with FOUR PAWS collars. The mission lasted until the end of June 2005. A local team trained by FOUR PAWS continued until the end of the year. In total 4147 animals were castrated, 9636 animals were vaccinated and 610 animals were medically treated.
- Flood relief in Timis/Romania: At the end of April the western regions of Romania were struck by the worst flood in the last 40 years. In the region of Timis thousands of inhabitants and their animals were affected. A FOUR PAWS team was on the spot to help the animals and the suffering people. In line with the disaster relief 47 castrations, 142 vaccinations and 231 medical treatments were completed.
- Flood relief in Bacau and Vrancea/Romania: In the middle of 2005 parts of Romania again were destroyed by a devastating flood. A team of FOUR PAWS immediately set out to the provinces Bacau and Vrancea, the most affected areas in the northeast of the country to help the suffering people. The project was co-financed by the animal welfare organisation WSPA. We that managed to cater for 18450 animals. 336 animals were vaccinated and 40 out of that were castrated. 12 animals were medically treated.
- Support to move hundreds of dogs in Berceni/Romania: In September the animal welfare group Speranta requested for help. In order to prevent the slaughtering announced by judicial decree, the animals had to be medically treated under extremely difficult conditions. Besides that they had to be moved several times within the area.
- Dogs for People: On 8th of February the project was officially presented to the media.
- Work horses in Konya/Turkey: A new FOUR PAWS project was launched in September 2005 in the City of Konya, located in the highlands of Western Anatolia in Turkey. The local minority of Roma specializes in transports and uses horses for this purpose. Due to the poverty and the lacking knowledge of the owners, the horses are in poor condition. In November 2005 the veterinarians of FOUR PAWS, Dr. Ayse Kocabiyik and the project leader Dr. Frederic Fuerschuss, opened a veterinarian clinic for the harmed horses. By the end of the year Dr. Kocabiyik had treated 90 horses with great success.
- DANCING BEARS PARK/Belitsa: In 2005 three other bears were transferred into the 120,000 sqm bear reservation to begin a new life without suffering. The bears were transported with the FOUR PAWS bear ambulance. This year the DANCING BEARS PARK Belitsa celebrated its 5th anniversary.
- Bear Orphan Station: Since May we have a new inhabitant named Bruno.
- Wild Animals in Kenya: Was successfully continued.