Target: Royal Canin CEO Jean-Christophe Flatin
Goal: Demand justice for a dog food company that sponsored horrific acts of animal cruelty like bear baiting
The Mars Corporation has recently come under attack after it was discovered that its dog food brand Royal Canin sponsored a bear-baiting event in Ukraine. The international animal welfare organization Four Paws captured the competition and released footage to the public before confronting Royal Canin. This is not the first time they have sponsored such competitions and both Mars and Royal Canin must be reprimanded before they cause any more harm.
The footage taken by Four Paws shows several dogs being set on a chained bear for nearly two hours. An audience looks on, cheering, as the dogs attack the bear, which cannot defend itself because it has been declawed and chained to a tree. Men control the bear by pulling on the chain, dragging it around a fighting ring marked with Royal Canin plastic tape. Each dog is awarded points for the damage it does and a trophy bearing the Royal Canin logo is given to the owner of the winning dog.
Royal Canin’s promotional slogan is “respecting the animal nature of dogs and cats,” but the company’s commitment to animal welfare is greatly lacking. Dr. Amir Khalil, a vet at Four Paws made a statement saying, “Royal Canin is reducing wild animals like the brown bear to the rank of second-class animals.” It should also be noted that the brown bear is a protected animal in Ukraine. Bear-baiting, however, continues to be a serious problem. The bears are taken from their mothers only a few months after they are born, deprived of food and water to make them weaker, and forced to live in tiny cages from which they are released only for training and competitions. Bear-baiting contests take place between four and six times per year and Four Paws claims it has evidence that Royal Canin has sponsored more than one of these events.
Please take a moment to sign the petition below and demand that both Mars and Royal Canin not only apologize for sponsoring such terrible acts of cruelty, but also support the Ukranian government in protecting the bear population from further harm.
Dear Jean-Christophe Flatin,
Your company Royal Canin has received a great deal of criticism recently after it was revealed that you had sponsored a bear-baiting event in Ukraine. Royal Canin continues to deny any knowledge they had in their involvement, which is hard to believe since the company logo was placed everywhere the audience could see, including the tape outlining the fighting ring and the winner’s trophy. There is little doubt that Royal Canin approved sponsoring the competition.
It is appalling that any company would sponsor such an event, but even more so when it is a company that promotes itself as one that respects animals. In what way is tying a defenseless bear to a tree and instigating dogs into tearing it apart respectful of “the animal nature of dogs and cats?” I demand that you not only stop sponsoring these competitions, but also work to help the Ukrainian government secure a species-appropriate life for the bears involved.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: SnapAdik via Flickr