HSUS video exposes cruelty of bear baiting

UPDATE (8/25): The American Kennel Club has severed ties with the dog breeding group that sanctions "bear baying" events following the release of video showing hounds attacking a chained bear. The State newspaper of Columbia, SC reports the AKC sent out a press release Tuesday saying it does not consider ‘bear baying’ acceptable” and "has never and would never approve this activity.” The AKC board barred the group that organized one of the large S.C. events from participating in AKC activities. Another dog registry, the United Kennel Club told the State that it urged people who witnessed cruel activities to call authorities but that it had no control over bear baying.


Read more: http://www.thestate.com/2010/08/24/1430342/group-calls-for-end-to-bear-baying.html#ixzz0xeoE3a5c
The Humane Society of the United States today released undercover video showing dogs attacking a declawed, defanged bear chained to a stake in an effort to end the practice of bear baiting in South Carolina.

"We really view this as a throwback to the days of the Roman Colosseum, when people filled an arena as spectators to watch animals pitted against each other," said Michael Markarian, the Humane Society's chief operating officer.

At bear baiting contests, which date to 16th century Europe and participants call “bear bays,” a captive bear is tethered to a stake in an enclosed area, then set upon with packs of dogs before crowds of spectators.

HSUS undercover investigators attended four events, held in Spartanburg, Hickory Grove and Travelers Rest, S.C., at which the captive bear’s claws and some of her teeth had been cut, rendering the animal defenseless. The bear — believed to be the same bear, a 15-year-old female, at all four events — was tied to a stake in a fenced area and attacked by up to three dogs at a time for several hours.

“It’s inexcusable to stake a defanged, declawed, defenseless bear and offer the poor creature up as a living piñata for dogs to attack,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president. “The people of South Carolina will be outraged to know that there are people still staging these spectacles in the state.”

Two expert bear biologists who viewed the video, say that the bear shows signs of extreme fear and responds with only defensive behavior, rather than aggression. 

Read the Associated Press here. See the video here.