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Last dancing bear rescued from Ukraine
Kristina was rescued by Four Paws in partnership with Ukranian authorities

Kristina spent her days trapped inside a tiny cage

The last dancing bear in Ukraine can now recover in peace and tranquillity, thanks to the efforts of an international animal charity.

Bear Kristina was rescued by Four Paws in partnership with Ukranian authorities and has been moved to the safety of its newly-built bear sanctuary Domazhyr near Lviv.

The rescue mission took place last week, moments before Kristina was due to make an appearance in Ivao Frankove, Western Ukraine.
Following hours of negotiations with Kristina’s uncooperative owner, police and environmental inspectors decided to intervene and seize the bear.

The bear was moved to the sanctuary where she will now be cared for and monitored until a court decides that she can stay there for good. At present, the confiscation is only temporary.

Carsten Hertwig, a FOUR PAWS bear expert who brought Kristina to her new home, says that while Kristina is doing well under the circumstances, her condition is not ideal.

“At first, we brought Kristina into an indoor enclosure so that she could get used to both her new surroundings and our bear keepers, who observed her behaviour closely. On her second day, they decided to let her into a larger outdoor enclosure,” she said.

Kristina spent much of life in terrible conditions. Her owner kept her inside a tiny cage in his van while she was paraded around circuses and restaurants. Sometimes temperatures inside the van could get as high as 30 degrees celsius.

Time and time again, Kristina’s owner insisted that she perform in circuses or pedestrian areas for public enjoyment. During the winter months, when ‘entertainment season’ was over, Kristina spent her days in a tiny shed on the grounds of fish factory.

Kristina, together with another bear rescued earlier this year, are the first residents of the species-appropriate, natural home. The sanctuary will eventually provide shelter to thirty bears that have previously been subject to abuse, neglect or cruelty.

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Blue Dog Programme wins WSAVA One Health award

News Story 1
 An educational initiative to help children interact safely with dogs has been awarded the WSAVA’s 2017 Global One Health Award.

The Blue Dog Programme offers an array of educational resources for children, parents and school teachers, including an engaging website, fact sheets, DVD and an accompany book for parents.

The award will be accepted by Professor Tiny de Keuster, a European veterinary specialist in behavioural medicine and founder of the programme, during WSAVA World Congress 2017.  

News Shorts
VMD stakeholder workshops to discuss Brexit implications

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has announced that it is to hold stakeholder group workshops to discuss the implications of EU exit.

The workshops will be held during Autumn 2017 and will discuss topics such as the prescribing cascade, pharmacovigilance and inspection of non-UK based manufacturers.

To register your interest, send an email to, including any topics, in order of preference, that you would like to be discussed.