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2013 Achievements

FOUR PAWS projects: highlights & achievements 2013


FOUR PAWS emergency rescue action in the Philippines


The devastating typhoon “Haiyan” caused severe damage to the island state. Thousands of people are still struggling for survival, thousands of animals who are the livelihood of many of these people, in particularly farm animals, have also been affected. The FOUR PAWS animal rescue team set off to the Philippines to help the companion, stray and farm animals in need and to take the first actions towards providing sustainable protection for animals and humans. This includes, among others, pandemic disease prevention, vaccination programmes and water supply. 


© FOUR PAWS l Mihai Vasile

LIONSROCK l: A new life for two tigers and two lions


FOUR PAWS brought two tigers, Harun and Lina, and two lions, Zac and Donna, from an absolutely squalid zoo in Onesti (Romania) to the LIONSROCK big cats sanctuary in Bethlehem (South Africa) releasing them into two large familiarisation enclosures. After many years of suffering in small, dark cages with concrete floors the four big cats left their transport crates and were able to feel grass under their paws for the first time in their lives.


© FOUR PAWS l Mihai Vasile

LIONSROCK ll: Circus tigers are finally living in a natural habitat


In November 2013 we transferred six tigers from the German Zirkus ‘Starlight Fischer’ in Hessen, Weilburg, to our wildlife sanctuary LIONSROCK in South Africa. On arrival, the six cats were released into a large familiarisation enclosure. The animals were coping well during the long flight from Frankfurt/Main to Johannesburg and are now exploring their new home, a natural habitat without bars and under blue sky.


© FOUR PAWS l Mihai Vasile

Bears in Poland: The end of illegal private keeping of brown bears in Poland


Three brown bears, Wania (22), Misza (22) and Borys (18) have made it: After years of being held in cages on the private land of an animal shelter the bears have been able to relocate to a species-appropriate environment. Wania, Misza and Borys finally moved into their new outdoor enclosure in Poznan Zoo.


© FOUR PAWS | Olena Trofimchuk

Bears in Ukraine l: FOUR PAWS secret mission rescues first baiting bear

 The game of cat-and-mouse with the bear baiting lobby concerning Masha is over: after gruelling negotiations we managed to convince the owner of the mistreated bear to hand her over to us. Her owner had acquired her illegally from animal dealers and used her for years as bait for training hunting dogs.


© FOUR PAWS | Maryna Shkvyria

Bears in Ukraine ll: Illegal bear trade

A prominent Ukrainian TV station has exposed how easy bear cubs can be purchased on the black market. For $1,000 (US dollars), Bodia, a five-month old bear cub was sold to “1+1” in an undercover operation. FOUR PAWS, having been asked to assist at the rescue, has successfully transferred little Bodia to the Bear Rescue Centre Nadiya in Berezivska, Zhytomyr.



BEAR SANCTUARY Prishtina: bear rescue of „restaurant bears“ in Kosovo


All thirteen "restaurant bears" are doing well, and were being housed in adaptation enclosures of several hundred square metres until the construction of the big outdoor enclosures was finished in October. Now the 13 bears live in a large, species appropriate area of several hectares.



Stray Animal Care Romania: Overview of the stray dogs situation

After a tragic incident in which a little boy was fatally injured by stray dogs, Romanian President Traian Basescu called on Parliament to legalise the killing of thousands of stray dogs immediately. The law was adopted by the plenary on September 9th with 266 votes "pro", 23 votes "against" and 20 abstentions. Up to now our FOUR PAWS team in Romania has been able to castrate 234 stray dogs and find new owners to take over responsibility for them and look after them.



Stray Animal Care Bulgaria: Official opening of stray animal clinic in Sofia


The first veterinary clinic for treatment and neutering of stray animals in Sofia is a best practice example of what can be achieved when working together. Located in the residential district of Bankya, a suburb of Sofia, it was successfully established by the joint efforts of Sofia Municipality and FOUR PAWS.


© FOUR PAWS l Tibor Rauch

Wild horse birth control programme starts in Danube Delta


After over two years of negotiating with the Romanian authorities, we were able to launch the pilot phase of the project of birth control for Letea horses, Danube Delta. The first fifteen wild mares were already vaccinated.


© FOUR PAWS l Gabriela Koch

25 years of FOUR PAWS


At a press conference, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of FOUR PAWS, the founder and president, Heli Dungler, took stock of a quarter century of work for animal welfare. Dungler presented some of FOUR PAWS’ landmarks and successes and offered an overview of the organisation’s development from a small group of animal rights activists at the time of the founding in 1988 to today’s global player, now represented in twelve countries


FOUR PAWS campaigns: highlights & achievements 2013


FOUR PAWS campaign success with cage eggs app: Pasta manufacturer De Cecco ends use of cage eggs


We can report that the well-known Italian pasta manufacturer De Cecco has recently ceased using cage eggs in its pasta products. This is another success for our campaign against eggs from battery hens.


© FOUR PAWS l Matthias Schickhofer

First trial of puppy trader in EU postponed


On the occasion of the first trial of an illegal puppy trader on 10th October in Luxembourg, FOUR PAWS was organising a campaign event. Our campaign against the puppy mafia, has been running for years. We were making a plea for an appropriate verdict in this case.


© FOUR PAWS l Maria Eversteijn

Animal protection success in Great Britain


The British government has published a draft law today which bans all wild animals in circuses, starting from December 2015. With this step, Great Britain joins a long list of European countries that already ban the use  of non-domesticated animals in circuses.



Show skin. Not fur.


Fashion with fur is still widespread among retailers. We want to change this with our fur-free parade. Our online campaign targets the international fashion world: We want to push companies like Prada, Armani or Burberry into refraining from selling furs. That´s what we´re protesting for - naked!


© FOUR PAWS l Fred Dott

Fur-free fashion at Hervis


Our campaign against fur achieved major success: Sports wear retailer Hervis has joined the international Fur Free Retailer Program.



New Regulation on Cosmetic Products


Since 12 July 2013 cosmetic products in the EU are ruled by Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, replacing the old “Cosmetics Directive” 76/768/EEC.  

The switch to a regulation was necessary, due to the many amendments made to the Directive.


FOUR PAWS office Brussels: highlights & achievements 2013


FOUR PAWS launches CAROcat website


The CAROcat platform (Companion Animal Responsible Ownership) aims to provide, generate and disseminate reliable knowledge about cats in Europe, focusing on feline overpopulation and, as a consequence, all resulting animal welfare problems.