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Emergency rescue of restaurant bears in Kosovo

08-29-2013 08:07 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: Franke & Partner

Restaurant bear in the sanctuary Prishtina

Restaurant bear in the sanctuary Prishtina

The law firm Franke & Partners (franke-ip.com) negotiated a contract between the international charity organization “Four Paws”, the Kosovar Minister of the Environment and the City of Pristina, providing Four Paws with exclusive rights to maintain brown bear enclosures in Kosovo.

Four Paws has built an enclosure for keeping 13 brown bears on an area of about 16 acres of forest land, which was leased from the city of Pristina and is located about 20 kilometers from the city center.

For the coming year, Four Paws also intends to build a new training center next to the enclosure, which can help improving the public awareness of environmental issues in Kosovo. Dr. Bernd Franke, partner of Franke & Partner and head of the team of attorneys which negotiated the contract, said: "The particular difficulty of the project was to bring together the right people of the administrative bodies in Kosovo, the animal rights organization, the international NATO KFOR force, the EU mission EULEX and the local police in Prishtina. It was essential that the rescue operation was implemented rapidly and in a coordinated manner.” Many owners initially resisted violently against the expropriation of their bears. The operation was getting even more tragic when one owner in Mitrovica killed two of his privately kept bears.

Since autumn 2010, the private keeping of bears in Kosovo is prohibited by law. The animals, which have often been snatched at a young age from their parents in the wild, had mostly been kept in small cages in restaurants, serving the commercial purpose to attract visitors for the restaurant business. A professional handling and welfare of the “restaurant” bears was not possible.

The entire project is strongly supported by the Kosovar Minister of the Environment, Dr. Dardan Gashi, and by the Austrian ambassador in Kosovo, Dr. Johann Brieger and his wife Roswitha.

"We are proud to have laid the legal basis for this project, which will provide the remaining restaurant bears with a new home and will de facto abolish the private bear-keeping in Kosovo", said Dr. Dirk Franke, managing partner of the firm Franke & Partner.

Franke & Partner Intellectual Property Law Firm is a law firm in Munich specialized in intellectual property law, international contract law and tax law.

Franke & Partner
Intellectual Property Law Firm
Widenmayerstr. 25
80538 Munich
Germany

Phone: +49 89 5404 2233
Fax: +49 89 5404 2234
Email: info@franke-ip.com
Web: www.franke-ip.com

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