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2009 Achievements



The Bear Forest in Müritz, Germany, welcomed two more bears, Katja and Ida from the zoo Kalletal. The dancing bear park in the Bulgarian Belitsa also welcomed three new inhabitants. Moreover, the Bear Forest in Arbersbach, Austria, has been extended. On the Bear Orphans’ Station in Harghita (Romania), seven bears could be released in the wild this summer. (Photos © Sabine Vielmo)



In Eastern Europe, there are many stray dogs and cats. FOUR PAWS succeeded in the year 2009 to neuter and treat 7,358 dogs and cats in the course of the "Stray Animal Care"-project - in comparison, the year before there were “only” about 4,500 animals neutered. After the neutering, most of the animals were released again, and many of the dogs and cats were lucky to find a new owner. These animal adoptions were made possible by the FOUR PAWS "Dogs for People"-campaign. (Photos © Yavor Gechev – On the photo: Misho, a stray puppy that was adopted by a team member of FOUR PAWS.)



On the Big Cat Sanctuary LIONSROCK, founded and operated by Four Paws, there are ten new inhabitants: In March and September, lions which were kept inappropriate to their species in Austria, Romania and the Netherlands were brought to South Africa. Amongst them was also Carmen, the last lion in the closed safari park Gänserndorf. She was transported to LIONSROCK only after her partner, who could not be transported anymore, had died.



Signe Preuschoft, employee at FOUR PAWS and acknowledged expert on monkeys, managed to keep the chimps from the closed zoo in Gänserndorf in Austria. They had been threatened to be transferred to a Hungarian zoo where they would have been kept under animal-unfriendly conditions.



FOUR PAWS started immediately after the great drought in Kenya, an animal emergency mission. 30,000 animals - mainly cows, sheep and goats - have been wormed, supplied with food and were given medical assistance in the form of vitamins and antibiotics.



Wild animals in circuses are banned in Austria since 2005, yet many wild animals such as lions, elephants and many more, still suffer in the neighboring countries from animal cruel keeping conditions, continuous transport and questionable training methods. FOUR PAWS managed 2009 to gain internationally more than 75,000 protest votes and is engaged in lobbying extensively on this subject.



FOUR PAWS was able to work repeatedly with various TV channels on the issue of puppy smuggling, thereby creating a greater awareness among the public about the sick and tortured puppies.



FOUR PAWS was able to achieve several production shutdowns and delistings: In March, the company Pannun Lud - a former largest Foie Gras producer in the world – stopped the animal cruel production. In addition, in June 2009, both the German and the Austrian trade committed themselves to stop selling Foie Gras and meat coming from the Foie Gras production. Shortly thereafter, the Austrian wholesalers Metro, AGM and CC Pfeiffer stopped trading with meat from the Foie Gras production.



Much has been achieved in 2009. In May, the largest Hungarian goose meat producer Tranzit Ker stopped doing live feather plucking and allowed FOUR PAWS to carry out rigorous controls. The agony of live plucking is thus spared to a million geese. After lengthy negotiations, two other large Hungarian poultry producers announce in October their intention to stop with live plucking in a medium-term phase. In November, undercover research teams from FOUR PAWS discover meat of live plucked geese in the restaurants of IKEA. As a result, the Swedish furniture company removes in several countries the goose legs from the menu.



Starting in England, the "Virtual March" was launched on the Internet - more than 70,000 people around the world expressed themselves against animal testing.



In August, the French authorities shut down the cruel rabbit rearing Marcell Puren in France after revelations done by FOUR PAWS. Tens of thousands of rabbits are rescued from cramped cages.