Press Release: Wild animals in Kosovo

More then 14 month ago the Kosovarian court of justice ruled the lion kept in a restaurant illegally near Gjilan should be freed and transferred to a safe sanctuary. The international animal protection organisation “Four Paws” has offered several times to secure the lion and transfer him into one of their big cats sanctuaries.

Due to international conventions, the transport and transfer of the lion is very complicated and needs the approval of the ministries of Minister of Economy and Environment of the Republic of Kosovo and the Minister of Tourism and Environment of the Republic of Albania. The animal, that has been smuggled into the country and kept under extremely poor conditions, needs urgent transport to prevent it from further damage and harm.

However, the necessary paperwork is still not completed, leaving the lion to an uncertain fate.

Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Member of the European Parliament and Standing Rapporteur for Kosovo urges the ministers of Kosovo and Albania to finally authorize the transfer of the lion to a “Four Paws” sanctuary:

Wild animals do not belong in small cages or private keeping. It is against their nature and can almost never fulfil the criteria of animal welfare Keeping a lion illegally in a tiny cage is extremely cruel and completely outdated. The ruthless trade of wild animals needs to stop. I urge Minister Mr. Muharrem Nitaj and Minister Mr Blendi Klosi to finally find an appropriate agreement to transfer the lion from Kosovo to Albania and respectively to a Four Paws sanctuary.”

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