The word Bear baiting, as amply clear from the name
itself, is a teasing act where bears are tied to a post
after removing their nails and claws, and attacked by
dogs. Bear baiting is possibly the world‘s most
savage blood sport for wild-life animals, which you
could expect in the present age!
This inhuman and terrible practice is usually held
at local fairs in Pakistan, though much of this practice
has been stopped due to continuous opposition. The dogs
are pitted against bears that are without their claws
and teeth; and to top it all, they are tied to a post,
thus limiting their movement. It can be well gauged
what torture and excruciating pain bears must undergo
in order to be prepared for this sport—removing
the teeth, and nails is never a pleasing exercise!
Bear baiting is prevalent in Pakistan only, though
it is illegal act according to the Prevention of Cruelty
to Animals Act of 1890 and the Pakistan Wildlife Act.
Bear baiting is also illegal under Islamic Law to bait
animals. However, apart from the laws, opposition is
still needed for individual events, and people need
to be motivated to know about the law.
Injuries involved in bear baiting
People will generally conceive that dogs would be thrashed
in a clash with bears, but after reading the above description
and knowing the conditions that are set upon the bears,
one can well imagine the plight of bears. It goes without
saying that bears sustain more injuries than dogs, which
may involve ripped noses and mouths. Bears are left
only with their physical power to deal with the dogs,
who due to their multiplicity and intact teeth and claws,
are able to give a good fight. There is much fun for
the spectators, but hardly so for the bears!
Many times, bears sustain permanent scars and injuries,
though the owners of the fight do not allow killing
of any animal. However, it is crystal clear that they
presume the bear to be a monster, which has been stripped
off its powers and attacked by some pests—both
are valuable to the owner, and thus, they save their
lives for the next round of the sport!
Statistics and other matters
It is obvious that dogs are easily available, and therefore,
their number in the sport is more than the number of
bears. Though with consistent efforts of wild life organizations
and Pakistani Government, the number of such events
has been reduced and the wild-life officials of Pakistani
Government are working hard to achieve full control
on such events.
People that turn out to watch the sport are usually
in thousands, and around 1500-2000 people watch one
event. Awareness among the people about the suffering
involved and other animal issues can greatly help to
reduce the event of bear baiting; as if the spectators
are reduced, the owners will not be able to survive
on the pain born by the animals.