12/21/04 Pre-Holiday Black Chronicle

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Appalled by the frequent and unpunished killings of animals, Animal Friends appeals to Croatian media and public to get active in lobbying for legislative changes and for strict penalties for perpetrators of crimes against animals

September 29, 2004, Graberje
Pregnant female dog was found in forest Graberje in Kustosija (Zagreb). Dog was chained to a tree and left to die of cold, hunger and thirst. Luckily, reporter of Croatian radio found the dog and is now looking for a new home for the dog and her puppies that will be born very soon. This is only the beginning of this pre-holiday black chronicle.

December 4, 2004, Zagreb
Already well known notorious "monster of Pescenica" Ostoja Babic, takes his place in the black chronicle. He savagely beat to death his one-year-old dog because she didn't bark at passers-by but happily waged her tail. After he beat her for an hour with an iron bar, a pitchfork and an axe, the policeman who was called by the neighbors mercifully shot the poor animal.

Police pressed criminal charges against criminal Ostoja Babic, and Animal Friends on Thursday, December 9, 2004, organized a home demo in front of his house demanding maximum punishment according to Criminal Law and Animal Welfare Act, and ban of owning any animal for the rest of his life. We started off a petition on our info stands and on our web site, and in only a week we have over 2,000 signatures which we will hand out to the State Attorney demanding in the name of people of Croatia maximum penalty for the monstrous killer.

December 13, 2004, Gospic
Covered in blood, frozen and without the right eye, a body of a cat was found in front of Saint Marija Magdalena chapel. Cigarette was burning out in the mouth of the poor animal which didn't seem to be a stray. It isn't sure whether the animal was killed by a broken liquor bottle or was she forced to drink liquor or the liquor helped in gathering the strength of sick minds that tortured the animal.

December 17, 2004, Rijeka
After a two weeks long search for six-month old white Labrador Frodo, his owners found him brutally killed and covered with rocks nearby their home in Gornja Drenava. The autopsy showed that somebody shot the dog with an unknown weapon. Only white paws stood out of the pile of rocks, and neighbors who found the dog thought he was slaughtered because he lied on his back with his body torn open from neck down to his stomach. Exit wound in his chest was a size of a handball. Police made a report and that's where the investigation ended.

December 17, 2004, the island of Rab
On a deserted part of island Rab, in Punta Sorinjo, on Friday 10 griffon vultures were found dead, lead shot was found in three of them. One vulture is saved and fights for his life at Eco Center on island Cres. Supposedly somebody placed poisoned bates and then shot at the birds.

It is suspected that this crime against highly endangered griffon vultures, there is only 200 of them in Croatia, was committed by two hunters from Lopar on island Rab, which allegedly publicly bragged with their act. In August one vulture was found shot at the same place, and lately three more. The most certain reason for murder of vultures is that Eco center Caput Insulae asks for closing down of all hunting areas in all islands of Kvarner. They have very strong reasons to support their case and Animal Friends Croatia joins their efforts.

December 18, 2004, Novi Vinodolski
Hunters shot down two dogs of their fellow hunter even though they knew dogs weren't strays. With this act they confirmed the arrogance of Croatian hunters and strong hunting lobby that rampages throughout Croatia without any sanctions.

December 19, 2004, Ivankovo
In place Ivankovo, near Vinkovci, in front of a dog owner who walked her own and a dog of her neighbor, hunter wounded her dog and shot neighbor's Dalmatian. After the shooting, when asked why he did it, hunter, who refused to identify himself, answered that it is his right and if she has further questions she can contact local hunting alliance. Although she called the police, police did nothing but advised her to contact local hunting alliance where hunters will probably call on notorious Article 54 of Hunting law. Our organization for a long time warns about misuse of that article.

Question imposes: how long will Croatian public, headed by the Croatian legal system, turn heads in front of common crimes against animals and silently approve them? Our legal system which is inert and uninterested in suffering of non-human animals and our Animal Welfare Act that practically praises and mildly punishes perpetrators and URGENTLY needs changes, also take part in the responsibility for those black deeds. Furthermore, without changes in the Hunting Law and the fight against arrogance of hunters, without public condemnation and strict penalties, laws and regulations will stay a dead letter.

We celebrate the beginning of the negotiations with the EU, and at the same time crimes against animals and environment, which commonly happen, are ignored by our legislation. Changes in the way of thinking and behaving are necessary. We must strive for ethical growth of society because without it our future will be no brighter.



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