Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry
N / r Mr. mr. sc. Damir Ljubic, Minister
Dear Mr. Minister,
The Foundation for the Protection of Animals of Mrs. Bridget Bardot and our partners in the project NOA-France forwarded us e-mail with your response at the request of Mrs. Bardot. We were asked to interpret it.
We have addressed you with request for issuing approval for exports of
2 bears from Gornji Vakuf (F B&H) to their humane and proper placement in the Center for bears in Germany.
Judging by your response to Mrs. Bardot, before any interpretation of your responses, we find it necessary to once again explain our request.
2 brown bears (Ursus arctos), male and female, from the same litter about 20 months old, there are already 18 months in a private pond of Mr. Fahrija Celic, Gornji Vakuf-Bistricka rijeka.
On the basis of the Law on Animal Protection and Welfare of B&H, the previous analysis and preparation we launched a project of their humane and proper care for several reasons:
1. Because of the legal basis, which explicitly prohibits the detention and breeding of wild animals outside their natural habitats, or places that B&H prescribes laws pertaining to wildlife populations, especially the Law on Animal Protection and Welfare of B&H
as a fundamental law in this area;
2. Because of the legal obligations of our association that is obliged to indicates to examples of inadequate treatment of animals and to offer adequate solution;
3. Due to the fact that in B&H there is no humane and adequate accommodation in the case of vulnerable individuals of brown bears.
4. Because of the information we received from several institutions to hunting Inspectorate inspectors impose sanctions over Mr. Celic and thus directly leads to endangering the life of these animals.
As a basis for seeking approval for transport, we conducted the following undisputed facts:
1. Mr. Celic does not own bears no matter how they are obtained, nor was ever given permission for their conduct of the competent institutions. The grant could not be released because the positive law regulations expressly prohibit this. Bears were illegally detained;
2. Given that the bears are taken from nature in the age of 1-2 months
and that there are 18 months in captivity, they cannot return to NATURAL HABITATS because so far men fed them and because they did not had the opportunity to learn from their mother how to find food. Bear cubs learn from their mother more than 2 years how to find food in nature. If they are to be released in the nature of the previous methods of feeding they will be approaching the village in search of food. So, these 2 bears are lost to our nature and they have become the moment when they were taken from nature;
3. Visiting the field we found that:
Inadequate conditions of keeping (completely contrary to the regulations required by the law on protection and animal welfare B&H). The keeper keeps them linked chain around his neck on the edge of a pond where they have ability to make just a few steps or in dwellings that dimension of approximately 2m x 2m x 1,5 m and serves as accommodation for both bears. Such accommodation has direct impact on their health because they do not offer the possibility of forming an adequate muscle mass and muscle tone, which means that their health is endangered. Both ways of keeping is unacceptable in terms of security because they used materials that are not strong enough to keep this kind of very strong animals.
- Inadequate nutrition
Keeper of the bears fed exclusively on vegetable food. This kind of food is absolutely unacceptable if we take into account that for this kind of omnivorous bears, especially during their development it is important to obtain proteins of animal origin, and larger amount of calcium necessary for proper physical development. Poor nutrition is partly because the keeper seeks to keep them in bad physical shape due to poor and unsafe conditions. Judging by the commercial settlement, the keeper made his guests of the catering facility to buy a drink for the bears, which speaks that time and their health endangered by a particular function of the liver.
4. Opposite sex
Since it is a male and female that is an additional problem
and their separation should be done before the start of their
Our official veterinarian DVM. Ljiljana Damjanovic made a professional assessment that the bears and the next very bad conditions and bad food holding enough physical condition that, without consequence to submit veterinary treatment necessary to meet the conditions of the Annex-6 and to submit Transportation Center in Germany under the conditions of EU regulations. The recommendation is to move them before in order to prevent psychological consequences caused by inadequate handling. Since life expectancy of a Brown Bear is 40-45 years, 20 months of their age gives a chance for a successful recovery and long life.
Based on these facts and taking into account the Law on the Protection and animal welfare and a commitment to B&H as a community
care about endangered animal species, we started the project for
their transportation and adequate humane hosting.
In this regard, we have offered you and documented:
- Statement of our partners NOA-France to assume an obligation obtaining the necessary import permits in the EU and the obligation of funding the entire project;
- Statement of the Center "Park for bears WORBIS" Schwarzwald, Germany to accept the bears in its center for further care;
- In our application sent to you we have a statement that the transport is not commercial and exclusively from human reason, and to commit that we will obtain all necessary documentation necessary for their export of which is in accordance with the applicable laws of B&H and the EU.
- We forwarded additional documentation and the disposal of the successfully carried out project for the transportation of bear Miljen to France, which can serve as an example of documentation.
- Per E-mail we send you the photographs of the bears so to make sure that they are in unacceptable conditions and that their resettlement in adequate conditions is necessary.
Dear Mr. Minister, these bears have at this time no future in B&H. Unfortunately, if they are not transported to Rehabilitation center for the Bears their fate may have only 2 solutions, to continue to reside in the pond of Mr. Celic until they become aware of their strengths and their capabilities or the decision of their life hunting inspectors immediately ends. In both cases it means shooting.
How large is the interest of domestic and international publicity for this project shows the international petition signed by over 1000
persons from Bosnia and all over the world.
The human factor has played with their lives in its most brutal
form and because we feel an obligation to the whole community to B&H, to correct this mistake by investing every effort in the domain of its authority bearing in mind that we are taking the interests of animals all the more so for there is a legal basis and obligation.
Please make a decision on consent to their export because it is the only possible correct decisions.
We are at your disposal for any further information and documentation necessary.
Banja Luka, 12th October 2009