06/06/16 Wild animal circus in Varaždin

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The City of Varazdin
Mayor Goran Habus
King Tomislav Square 1
42000 Varaždin

June 6, 2016

Subject: Wild animal circus in Varazdin

Dear Mr. Habus:

We are addressing you as the mayor of the city known for its Baroque architecture, culture and prosperity, who invests in the opening of higher education institutions, encourages education and culture, and is constantly modernising. With your efforts Varazdin has secured its place amongst modern cities which follow the trends of growth and progress.

On the other hand, after numerous reports from surprised and outraged citizens about the presence of the wild animal circus from Berlin in Varazdin, in spite of the strict, clear and publicly known legal regulation that fully prohibits circuses with wild animals, we are sending you a report and request for immediate intervention.

Article 53, paragraph 1 of the current Animal Protection Act states that ''It is prohibited to keep wild animals in circuses and use them in circus performances and other performances involving animals'' (Animal Protection Act 2006). Article 3, paragraph 5 of the same Act defines domestic animals as ''animals that man has tamed, domesticated and bred for the production of food, feedstuff, byproducts and other economic purposes'' (Animal Protection Act 2006).

It is clear from the above legal regulation that in Croatia it is prohibited to keep wild animals in circuses, regardless of them performing in a circus act or not, as well as the fact that camels, llamas and similar animals are not domestic in Croatia, but wild animals, and as such are not permitted to enter Croatian territory with circuses. Accordingly, the entrance of the aforementioned circus into Croatian territory is illegal, and the public has been sent a message that the City of Varazdin and other competent authorities do not care about the implementation of the Animal Protection Act, but openly violate it.

Animals used for the purpose of entertaining the masses in circuses are forced to behave unnaturally, they are kept in unsuitable conditions, suffer imprisonment and difficult conditions of long trips and transport, and the way they are treated by handlers is far from entertaining. Often the animals are deprived of food, even when accommodated, mainly for the purpose of training and incentive to perform circus acts. On the other hand, if at a given time an animal is not willing or able to perform an act for which it has been trained, a whole system of punishment is applied.

We believe that you care not only for the implementation of the Law, but also for a clear message to the citizens that the use of animals in circuses for profit is considered a primitive and unacceptable form of entertainment that should remain part of the shameful past and as such is not welcome even in your city, nor in Croatia.

Since your city is amongst the 30 Croatian cities that signed the decision to ban circuses in 2005, we invite you to obey the Animal Protection Act and the city's decision and to forbid this, but also any other animal circuses in your city and county.

We thank you for your time and understanding and we kindly ask for your reaction and response.


Luka Oman
President of the Association

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