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In the end three fortunate bears - Cassandra, Seida and Bozhana, the first two from the Pozarevac area and the third from Krusevac - were transferred on January 27th to their temporary refuge at the bear park, Belitsa in Bulgaria. In spite of many problems, which the entire operation encountered on the way, the original team was augmented by numerous additions called in to solve administrative and other difficulties. Thanks to this wonderful response the rescue of these three bears, who have spent years in conditions,unseemly for any living being not to mention prohibited by the law of this country and international conventions, was achieved.
Serbian three bears will now spend a period at the bear park in Bulgaria which was established and is administered by the organization "Vier Pfoten" (Four Paws) and the "Brigitte Bardot" foundation. The Serbian authorities responsible have signed a contract with "Vier Pfoten" ("Four Paws") to finance the establishment and maintenance of a park in Serbia for bears ill-treated in captivity.
The society "Freedom for Animals" received information that the combined team from the ministries was scheduled to visit the stud farm on 10.and 11.9.2007. However this inspection is not being carried out. According to our most recent information the work of this commission was cancelled by the Serbian Ministry of Agriculture. The suffering, from hunger and neglect, of these Lipice horses is now to be prolonged to death because politicians have no interest in dealing with the humane aspect of this affaire Although more than 345 horses were transferred from the Lipice stud farm the total number today is just 79.
To the Minister for the Protection of the Environment Oliver Dulic and the assistant Minister Radislav Momirov
To the Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Resources, Dr. Sasa Dragin
We request that both ministries take urgent measures for the relocation of ill-treated bears, incarcerated in Paracin and Pozarevac, to a refuge center for the bears of southeast Europe. We also request the signing of the very favorable contract proposed by the Society for the Protection of Animals, "Four Paws" (Vier Pfoten) for the establishment of a Refuge Center for Brown Bears in Serbia.
Two conventions have been ratified which Serbia as signatory is thereby obliged to implement. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - the Bern Convention, were signed by Dr. Sasa Dragin as Minister of the Environment in September 2007.
For some inexplicable reasons no action is been taken. We regard this case as urgent because in the meantime one bear has died and the others three are further exposed to hardship and are deprived of their natural hibernation rhythm.
Regardless of the fact that Hunting Inspection and Court officials have taken all steps required by law, the Ministry for the Environment is delaying the rescue of these unfortunate animals.