01/24/24 Veterinary Inspection Considers Camels Domestic Animals, Claims Movements Induced by Whip Are Natural
State Inspectorate’s Absurd Response to Animal Friends, Stating That Candy Circus Does Not Violate the Law
- From January 25th - 28th, a spectacle without animals by the world-renowned circus Cirque du Soleil in Zagreb
Last month, the State Inspectorate sent a response to the Animal Friends association, stating that it found no inconsistencies with the law in the operation and activities of the Candy Circus. "To get to this absurd response, we sent two complaints and a reminder to the Veterinary and Food Safety Directorate over eight months, and in the end, we sought help from the Ombudswoman. It is shameful to live in a country where camels are considered domestic animals by the veterinary inspection, while walking horses on their hind legs is considered characteristic behavior for this species," says Snježana Klopotan Kačavenda, project coordinator at Animal Friends.
In the response from the Veterinary and Food Safety Directorate (DIRH), signed by Ivan Samac, the Deputy Chief State Inspector, it is claimed that camels are domestic animals in Croatia. The inspection also believes that hoofed animals in the circus are allowed to "jump over obstacles, run, jump, climb obstacles, and perform other actions" because they exhibit such movements in their natural environment. For nine months, they have been granting permission to the Candy Circus, which performs shows with camels, horses, and ponies, to hold circus performances with animals.
In their response, for which they engaged a legal expert, Animal Friends Croatia refutes all claims of the State Inspectorate, calling them arbitrary and contrary to legal provisions cited by the DIRH. The association points out the discrepancy between domestic legislation and European legal norms, from which it follows that camels cannot be domestic animals in Croatia because they are not, according to the definition of domestic animals in the Animal Protection Act, neither domesticated nor tamed, nor used for food or other economic or production purposes.
"If we were to apply legal provisions according to the arbitrary interpretations of the veterinary inspection, then tigers and bears would also be considered domestic animals because there are several domesticated individuals of these animals in captivity by private individuals. Camels in Croatia are wild animals, and they are prohibited in circuses by law, so the performances of the Candy Circus must also be prohibited," explains Klopotan Kačavenda.
She adds that they are shocked by the DIRH's response that the treatment of animals during Candy Circus performances represents behavior characteristic of the species, as expressed in their natural environment: "Waving or lifting a whip, as a means of training, forces animals to perform pre-rehearsed movements because the whip induces fear of punishment if they do not perform what the trainer wants. This is not natural behavior, and it also violates the provisions of the Animal Protection Act that animals must not be forced to perform actions and movements using auxiliary means or devices. The inspection deliberately neglects this!"
The association reminds that the veterinary inspection has equally approved performances by the Safari circus in previous years, where animals were whipped to perform absurd and meaningless acts, such as, for example, placing a board on two cows standing on an elevated pedestal, onto which dogs and goats climb by jumping on each other's backs. The inspection considered the spinning of horses on their hind legs around their axis and horses walking on their hind legs backward in a circle in the Berlin circus natural behavior as well.
Animal Friends Croatia has requested that the veterinary inspection, for both Candy Circus and similar circuses in the future, bans performances using non-domestic animals that are whipped to perform actions that are not characteristic or natural for them. They also call for the imposition of fines on individuals who illegally organize and hold circus performances. On www.boljizakon.net, they have presented a proposal for amendments to the Animal Protection Act to completely ban the keeping and use of animals in circuses.
"Animals are not entertainers, and it is shameful that they are still exploited in the 21st century to attract consumers and make a profit. Therefore, we invite everyone to the performances of the world-renowned circus Cirque du Soleil, which will present an energetic and acrobatic spectacle dedicated to the fantastic world of animals from January 25 to 28, 2024, at the Zagreb Arena, but without any animals. For years, it has been proving that it is the best in the world of entertainment without exploiting animals," concludes Klopotan Kačavenda.