FOUR PAWS Highlights
Coopeartion with HRH Princess Alia of Jordan
In the spring of 2010, the transfer of six Jordanian lions to South African big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK marked the first cooperation of FOUR PAWS with the Princess Alia Foundation. The mutual efforts were continued when a SAC team travelled to Amman and Irbid in order to perform Stray Animal Care projects and train local vets. When Princess Alia visited Austrian FOUR PAWS projects in September, a long-term cooperation agreement was signed at the Vienna office.
Breakthrough for Stray Animal Care in Eastern Europe
Amidst many important SAC projets in Romania, Bulgaria and other countries, a long awaited breakthrough was achieved: after ten years of not being able to work in the Romanian capital Bucharest, FOUR PAWS reached an agreement with the newly elected city government, leading to an immediate return that coincides with the end of state sanctioned mass killings of dogs and cats. A large SAC team took up the difficult task of castrating, vaccinating and caring for the countless stray animals of the metropolis. Just two weeks into the project, the treatment of one thousand dogs was announced.
Disaster Relief missions around the globe
After Pakistan was hit by one of the biggest floods in its history, a FOUR PAWS disaster relief unit travelled to the region of Punjab, where thousands of animals were trapped without food and water. The team organised supplies, prevented the outbreak of epidemics and saved cattle, goats and companion animals from certain death – and gave new hope to the region’s farmers. Other aid missions were launched in Hungary and Romania.
FOUR PAWS bear parks
As a direct consequence of the new Bulgarian animal rights law, FOUR PAWS was able to save several wild animals from inappropriate keeping conditions. Young bear Monti was transferred to DANCING BEAR PARK Belitsa, where he adapted well. Changes have gone under way at German BEAR PARK Müritz: the sanctuary is being expanded to twice its original size, allowing the intake of more bears in the near future. The re-opening will take place in April 2011. The animals living at BEAR PARK Arbesbach in Austria have also experienced a good year, in which their recovery has progressed positively. Romanian BEAR ORPHANAGE Harghita has continued to prepare another generation of findlings for their lives in freedom, while monitoring bears released in 2009. Four orphans were rescued and included in the programme.
Long-term campaigns and successful protest efforts
Extensive FOUR PAWS campaigns that have been maintained for several years yielded success headlines in 2010: following the implementation of new protest tools, a cartoon video backed by British music legend Morrissey and lobbying efforts on various levels, the cage farming of rabbits will be phased out on many sites in the near future in favour of barn keeping. Other long-term endeavours have featured progress in the keeping of hens and oxen. The ongoing campaing against live feather plucking has yielded more major breakthroughs: a new agreement with Polish goose farmes has saved five million geese and ducks from livelong suffering. A similar change of policy has brought further improvements to the situation in Hungary, where additional companies have agreed to inspections by FOUR PAWS.
Monitoring and expansion of ongoing campaigns
New aspects have come into play in the endeavour of banning fur animal farming. In Germany, a study commissioned by FOUR PAWS has revealed traces of toxic chemicals in virtually all fur samples tested. The news breaking research is also affecting children’s clothing and is running contrary to the industry’s attempts to sell cage farmed animal skin as eco-friendly. In Austria, extensive inspections have shown that in spite the legal ban of laying batteries, imported factory cage eggs are still being sold on agricultural markets, often bearing misleading or false labels.
Campaign for the reduction of meat consumption
Prior to the climate summit in Cancún, FOUR PAWS campaign teams have pointed out the direct link between meat production, consumption and their impact on the climate. In Austria, a country with a particulary high annual meat consumption rate, campaigning was directed at illustrating the change that can be achieved with only one meat dish less per week – and per capita. The campaign will be continued and expanded in 2011.
Six new lions from Eastern Europe transferred to LIONSROCK
In a continuing effort to save as many Eastern European lions as possible and care for them at big cat sanctuary LIONSROCK, six new lions from bad keeping conditions in Romania and Bulgaria have been transferred to South Africa. On Robben Island, the majority of the remaining fallow deer were caught and brought to LIONSROCK, where they won’t be threatened anymore. Meanwhile, expansion works have gone underway to build 15 new enclosures for big cats.
Substantial progress in the rehabilitation of orangutans in Borneo
The dream of releasing orangutan orphans back into the wild is becoming reality in 2011. After bureaucratic struggles and extensive research, FOUR PAWS and the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) have acquired the estate utilisation rights for the protected zone in the forests of East Kalimantan from the Ministry of Forestry. This will allow for the apes raised and educated in the Samboja orphanage to return to a life in freedom, in spite of the continuing and momentous destruction of the jungle. A group of five is already being prepared for the first release, after which the orangutans will be monitored constantly for the next three years.
Kenyan Mobile Veterinary Unit saves the lives of elephants, big cats and other wildlife
Under new leadership, the FOUR PAWS Mobile Veterinary Unit has continued its fine work of patrolling the Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks and dealt mostly with the increasing number of poaching accidents. Elephants suffering from injuries caused by wire traps, orphans left behind, fatal spear wounds and many other deplorable incidents are part of the dedicated team’s daily schedule. The skilled vets have saved an impressive number of lives, while keeping tabs on the areas big cats, the movements of which are being explored with the help of GPS transmitters.