This 2 day festival on the northern shore of Lake Issyk Kul in the town of Cholpon-Ata draws the region’s best hunting dogs, eagle hunters, and falcon handlers in all of Kyrgyzstan. Such festivities reflect the Kyrgyz people’s nomadic past.
The final event of the festival is only opened to the most respected Berktuchi and Taigen who must hunt a live wolf. This fierce and sometimes gory battle frequently results in mortal wounds. For the sake of sportsmanship, festival officials attempted to place a bit in the wolf’s mouth to no avail, settling for a heavy chain tethering her to a lead weight.
Chained wolf and golden eagle fight to the death at hunting festival.
Please find Kyrgyztan's Embassy in your country:
Please send this pre-written letter:
To whom it may concern.Dear Sir/Madame,
The final event of the festival is only open to the most respected Berktuchi and Taigen who must hunt a live and tethered wolf that is therefore unable to escape or fully defend itself. This fierce and often gory battle frequently results in mortal wounds.
For the sake of ‘sportsmanship’, festival officials attempted to place a bit in the wolf’s mouth to no avail, settling for a heavy chain tethering her to a lead weight.
I know that within rural communities, Kyrgyz have long raised Taigen and trained Eagles to protect both the lives of their livestock and family.
I fully agree that their sheep, cows and horses need protection, but there are other and more humane ways of doing this.
In fact, this cruel and slow killing of a wolf has nothing to do with protection. Rather, it is a long standing tradition within the Kyrgyz culture and reflects their nomadic past.
For them the hunting is a sport. But this is not an excuse to conduct animal abuse.
And not only the lives of the wolves are at stake, but also that of the dogs, the hawks and eagles.
These animals are abused in a most horrific way to glorify the Kyrgyz and for so-called human entertainment.
Such barbaric traditions cannot be tolerated.
Animals are inherently sentient and possess the capacity for thought and emotion, including contentment, loneliness, fear, stress, and agony. All animals, human and non-human,
experience the desire to live free from exploitation and suffering and fear the manifestation of death. Humans have adopted dangerous constructs of speciesism, the prejudicial regard of non-human species, to try to ‘validate’ the brutality inflicted upon them by humans. Using this human-centred and fabricated status of superiority, humans have sanctioned the use of animals as commodities, regarding them only as products to benefit our goals and needs – including that of entertainment.
We embrace inequity to justify our treatment of animals, yet euphemistic descriptions meant to facilitate morality cannot disguise the fundamentally unethical parameters with which we surround ourselves to distinguish our dominance.
As dangerous as racism and sexism, speciesism further divides the chasm between species, which desensitizes us to cruelty and inevitably leads to human inequality and injustice.
Furthermore, it is also important to recognize the potential environmental ramifications of such a species decline; the ecology is a delicate entity whereby all elements work with and amongst each other in symbiotic manners; any one imbalance will cause negative influence throughout all species, plant and animal. It is therefore ecologically necessary that you acknowledge your contribution to this damage and adopt immediate measures discontinuing such. Although you may not consider the wolves as having essential worth, they value their own lives, and your blatant disregard not only has broad consequences outside your borders, it also has potentially criminal repercussions based on established EU protocols; you should be aware that in surrounding areas wolves are protected species.
The hunting and killing of this vulnerable group of beings is unacceptable, and the celebratory nature with which the slaughtered animals are displayed is indicative of only self-serving indulgence.
This reversion to an archaic and cruel tradition is a disgrace for Kyrgyztan.
These noble animals deserve respect and protection of their population!
Please act in a compassionate and empathetic manner and ensure that barbarities like this will end
Thank you for your time and attention.
Please sign petition: