04/22/08 Letter to Croatian Radiotelevision in Regard to the Shark and the Wolf

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Prisavlje bb
10000 Zagreb

April 21, 2008

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are writing to you in regard to recently broadcasted features on HTV1 News programs. In a highly unprofessional manner, these installments depicted the torture of animals which are protected species under the law.

The HTV1 daily news broadcast on April 16, 2008 featured a roughshark which had been caught off the coast of Sali on the island of Dugi Otok. The captured shark spent 15 hours alive in a refrigerator until the recording of the feature. When cameras finally rolled, the journalist stated that the shark 'behaves strangely' and cast sneering comments along with fisherman as the animal struggled for its life and died in front of the cameras.

The April 20, 2008 HTV1 Daily News included a feature entitled "Vojo-wolf and the Red Riding Hood" about a wolf which had been confined in a sheep pen by Vojo Radmilovic. The journalist, Melita Sare, made a mockery of the animal by wearing a Red Riding Hood costume in order to report this story.

These two cases both demonstrate extreme and unprofessional procedural behavior on the part of HTV. It seems almost unbelievable that this torture and harassment of animals was approved and aired, not only without condemnation and report to the appropriate authorities, but as some kind of sign of approval by this public institution via its participation in these unethical and illegal acts. The mere message sent to the public does immeasurable damage and threatens the hardworking efforts of organizations and ministries in the citizens' education on animal and environmental protection and abidance of the law.

We ask you to undertake all necessary steps in order to sanction the editors and reporters in charge of this negligence and hope there will be no more such egregious acts in the future.

We would also ask you to report these cases to institutions in charge using all attainable information so they'll be able to perform inspections and sanctions.

We expect your response about undertaken measures.


Luka Oman

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