09/02/22 Fines for taking photos with monkeys and owls
Animal Friends Croatia reported abuse of animals in tourism
- Changes to the Animal Protection Act and the ban on the exploitation of wild animals are requested
During July and August, the Animal Friends Association sent two reports to the State Inspectorate about reports that in the center of Zadar, unknown persons were charging tourists for taking photos with monkeys and owls, tied with a rope so that they would not escape. In the reports, they requested that violators be prohibited from exhibiting wild animals for the purpose of public display, that animals exposed to fear, suffering and inappropriate treatment be taken from them, and that they be prevented from further harming the welfare of animals.
"Videos and photos of people who, year after year, in cities all over the coast, charge for taking pictures with tied wild birds and a monkey are shared on the Internet, and witnesses indicate that the animals are without food and water, exposed to stress, noise, crowds and crowds of people, transmission from hands on the hands of unknown people, harassment and unbearable heat and that they visibly suffer," Animal Friends point out.
After the repeated report in August, Friends of Animals received a response from the competent veterinary inspection, which states that the veterinary inspection and the nature protection inspection, in cooperation with the municipal police and the Zadar police, found three foreign citizens who were presenting two cuckoo owls to the public during the inspection bred in the Czech Republic and one female green monkey bred in Ukraine, which are of legal origin.
In the answer, it is further explained that due to the use of animals for the purpose of representation without the consent of the veterinary inspector, the indictment of the veterinary inspection carried out "urgent misdemeanor proceedings in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Zadar Police Department, in which the Municipal Court in Zadar imposed the prescribed fines on the perpetrators of the misdemeanor". It is clarified that during 2019, inspections also determined that natural persons illegally exhibit parrots (macaws and macaws) for the purpose of presenting them to the public, for which they were issued a ban on exhibiting animals in the administrative procedure, and indictments were brought, according to which the Municipal Court in Zadar imposed prescribed fines on violators.
"Unfortunately, the inspections did not use the legal possibility of confiscating animals in order to prevent new violations of the law, so we can probably expect the same scenes next summer. At the same time, the problem is the lack of adequate shelters and temporary accommodation for wild animals, as well as the absence of clear legal regulations on the keeping of wild animals", warn Animals’ Friends.
That is why they launched an initiative to amend the Animal Protection Act in order to improve animal protection in Croatia. They suggest that legal changes completely prohibit the exploitation of wild animals and the keeping of animals in private captivity and that the so-called Positive list of animals that can be kept as pets. They believe that a complete ban on keeping dogs on a chain, a ban on keeping and performing all animals in circuses, the introduction of mandatory castration of dogs and cats (with justified exceptions) and other changes are urgently needed. You can find out more about everything at the website www.boljizakon.net.
AFC also remind us that wild animals generally transmit about 72 % of zoonoses, and certain species are dangerous due to their predatory, aggressive or poisonous nature, which is why keeping them poses a danger to public health and the safety of people and other animals. They appeal to the City of Zadar and other cities to prevent individuals from profiting from taking photos with wild animals, which harms tourism promotion and is based on the suffering of animals for the sake of useless entertainment.
They invite everyone to report any exploitation of wild animals in public to the municipal police and the State Inspectorate.