03/07/03 Animal Welfare Act

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Shocked by the events on the Island of Krk, we ask that the commiters be severely punished and that the Animal Welfare Act be changed


- Animal Friends is sending this letter to all media, to the Government, the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the President, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and to the Ministry of Justice

However tragic it may be, the event that happened on the Island of Krk when the high school students burned living kittens and dragged their mother by a car along the road, is only one in the series of brutal and incomprehensible cases of animal abuse.

We have already written about high-school graduates' abuse of a hen and massacring of a dog in Split, about a dog thrown into a 15-meter deep pit in Lika, who spent one year in the darkness of that pit completely alone, eating corpses of other animals and drinking rain-water. We also reported about dogs that were thrown into the sea with a stone around their neck, about birds that were exterminated because of the Italian pâté, about bears and wolves that were killed and about numerous cases of industrial torture of animals on meat, egg and fur farms, in circuses and zoos, in laboratory experiments and hunting. We protested on numerous occasions when the hunters were killing everything in their sight, all "stray" animals and all those animals they considered a "kill," even though they were not.

We try to react every time such a disgusting crime is committed, but nobody seems to hear our words. The Animal Welfare Act is still a disaster, and the authorised bodies have no interest in changing it, not even when a considerable pressure from abroad is exerted on them.

Nobody can be certain how many millions of animals have been killed this year in Croatia. As the objects intended for human "well-being," animals are not included in statistics and lists. Nobody takes account of their lives, rights and destinies. If an animal is killed, tortured or abandoned, there is no punishment for that.

The streets are packed with stray animals, for which nobody is responsible and which are often past saving. The hunters massively 'kill off' the wild, but also the domestic animals, because in their minds that are not quite sane the 'kill' represents something good. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that should control them is managed precisely by themselves - hunters, and they not only let the offences go unpunished, but they also justify and support them.

All our efforts to change the Animal Welfare Act were almost futile. Nobody in our country has even raised a finger to all pictures and stories we sent them about the terrible treatment of animals and all the offences that were committed. People who should implement the Laws and people who should be the leaders of this state are a total failure, and they are often precisely the same ones who prevent the changes and break the Laws. For example, the police rudely hang up and shut the doors to our request to do something, the veterinary inspection (if you manage to contact them) obviously has something "else" to do, although not something more clever, the Parliament and the Government are too busy framing each other and exchanging shots that resemble elementary school games most of the time, and the President never does anything anyway, except having his pictures taken and surprising us from time to time with some bad statement.

Is it surprising then that the high-school graduates torture a hen on the last day of school and cut a dog open, or that the high-school students burn cats and get away with it? Not really.


After we have sent "greeting cards" from our country on numerous occasions, in form of petitions and calls for help, thousands of foreigners have reacted. We received hundreds and hundreds of messages from embittered people who will never again set their foot in the country in which people burn cats, hang dogs on trees, throw them into pits without punishment and cut them open while celebrating something, and in which protected species are killed whenever and wherever possible.

But still, nobody reacts in our country. Nobody even replied to numerous letters and requests we sent. Politicians, who are occupied with their public appearances, do everything except doing something for the benefit of their country, public figures are interested only in money and race for popularity, and the public sits in the dark or watches glittering advertisements for useless products.

Therefore, we ask that the Animal Welfare Act be changed immediately - because it is a terrible manual for torture of animals and it would have been better if it had not been passed at all, when they managed to distort it this way and when they don't comply with it even in this distorted form.

Animal Friends is just finishing the proposal of the new Animal Welfare Act and is ready to initiate a discussion on final changes of this terribly written Law.

We ask Croatia to finally try and break of a barbaric habit of torturing and exploiting the animals and to come closer to the world trends of more ethical treatment of animals. In Europe and the rest of the civilised world, things are unstoppably changing for the better. The Laws are changing, the relation to animals is changing, the social status of animals is changing. Does Croatia always have to lag behind social changes or, if possible, be on the wrong side again?!


Until 2007 our country should become a member of the European Union, but we will not become a part of that same Europe until our "youth" exhibits their perversity by torturing the animals, and "the wise and the elders" support and tolerate that and only wait to use it for their own benefit.

One of the reasons why we cannot even dream of being included in the Europe is the difference in treatment of animals, but also in the Laws relating to it. The European Union has recently banned the experiments on animals for cosmetic purposes, Switzerland banned the hunting, the Great Britain banned the hunting to hounds and fur farming, several countries banned hen farming in cages, as well as farming of various animals and experiments on them. Numerous cities disallow the performance of circuses involving the animal acts, and the fines for offenders are really high and serious, and not "funny" as in our country.

Regarding the high-school students from the Island of Krk, there is no punishment that would be appropriate for them. It would be best if they could experience their own cruelty, but since it is not possible, we just want the punishment to be as severe as possible. We hope that the judicature will use them as an example for all similar cases that may happen in the future. It is time for us to begin punishing the cruelty to animals in this country. And to begin punishing it severely.



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