01/25/11 The County Banned Hunt
Following requests from individuals and organizations for the protection of people and animals from hunting rifles, the county banned hunt
- Medjimurje County banned hunt in Mihovljan area in Cakovec
Prompted by the New Year's shooting of the members of hunting society Zec from Cakovec in the Cakovec-Mihovljan area next to houses and children's playground, Animal Friends sent a demand to the heads and members of the council of the town of Cakovec and Medjimurje County to abolish a hunting-ground in this populated area. Because of the torturing and killing of animals within a zone 300 m from the town limits, which is not considered the hunting-ground, endangering the safety of people and animals and violating laws and bylaws, reports were also sent to the police, hunting inspection and Municipal Attorney. During the hunt, residents took photos with rifles drawn from the protective box immediately next to houses and children's playground and the torture of shot rabbit, who the hunters killed after 10 minutes of agony by snapping his neck.
Animal Friends warned that the residents of this area, as well as the majority of Croatian citizens, want a peaceful and safe environment for themselves and their children and the animals they have in their care, and not life full of fear of self-willed hunters. They do not want to raise their children next to the sights of people with rifles, shooting and roads bloodshot from the corpses of killed animals.
Thanks to the reactions of the residents of that area and the letters of organizations, the Department of Agriculture and Tourism of Medjimurje County notified Animal Friends about the results of the meeting between the representatives of the hunting society Zec from Cakovec, hunting-ground subcontractor of the mutual hunting-ground XX/118 – Cakovec II, president and secretary of the Hunters Association of Medjimurje County, president of the County Assembly of Medjimurje County and the representative of the Department of Agriculture and Tourism of Medjimurje County. At the meeting a request has been made to the hunting society Zec Cakovec not to hunt on the mentioned area width of 700 meters. With this decision Medjimurje County made a significant ethical step forward in its efforts to protect its people from being exposed to fear and vulnerability from the group of people with guns, thus providing them peace and safety.
Unfortunately, the issue of hunters who jeopardize other people and animals is not limited only to Medjimurje County, but is widespread throughout Croatia. Hunt, that is the usage of buckshot and shooting in the vicinity of the populated area jeopardize the safety of people and animals. Especially common are the cases of killing dogs and cats who move around houses. Thus hunters continuously and without any sanctions violate the law by killing companion animals.
Hurting and killing of dogs and cats by hunters should be sanctioned equally as if other citizens do that. The Hunting Act allows hunters to "eliminate" dogs and cats who are in the hunting-ground without supervision (Article 55, paragraph 2), by "eliminating" not being defined as killing, as hunters are often free to interpret. Hunters are obliged to inform animal protection organizations or veterinarians about stray or lost dogs and cats who will check then whether the animal is microchipped and take care of her according to the Animal Protection Act, that is put her in the shelter and find her a home.
The legislation clearly states that a hunting rifle must not be used for killing domestic and companion animals. Outside the hunting ground, a rifle in general should not be charged nor be out of its holster. However, this often leads to cases of serious misuse of weapons and, consequently, animal abuse and harassment of citizens. Citizens witness that hunters are threatening to kill their dogs when they want to draw attention to inappropriate behavior and violations of legal regulations. Because of that they are frightened and they try not to criticize hunters, out of fear for themselves, their family members and their animals.
All those who violate the legislation are equal before the law, including hunters. Therefore, the consistent sanctioning of the hunters tyranny could prevent possible human suffering, save lives of animals and thus provide greater safety and a peaceful life of people. Animal Friends invite everyone to report abuse and killing of animals to authorities, especially that done by hunters, in order to send a clear message to violators of the law which is that owning a gun does not put them above the law.