07/27/23 Member of Parliament Condemns Cat Rape in Roma Settlement
Luka Oman, Animal Friends Croatia President and Veljko Kajtazi, MP, hold a meeting
- Amendments to the Animal Protection Act must prescribe mandatory cat and dog spaying
At the initiative of Anima Friends Croatia, a meeting was held in July between Veljko Kajtazi, MP, and Luka Oman, President of Animal Friends Croatia. The meeting was prompted by the recent shocking case of brutal cat torture and rape, committed by minors in a Roma settlement in Medjimurska County.
“Since this has unfortunately not been an isolated incident in Roma settlements where animal abuse is common, it is imperative that the problems be systematically resolved. We believe that in Roma settlements both animals and humans need help, primarily in the form of education and consistent law enforcement. We approached Mr. Kajtazi as we believe that, as a member of parliament and the representative of the Roma national minority in Croatia, he can play an important role in bringing the necessary change. We need him to actively engage and clearly condemn the abuse to ensure that this kind of behavior comes to an end,” emphasized Luka Oman following the meeting. Veljko Kajtazi condemned the horrendous case of cat abuse both at the meeting and also on his official Facebook profile and promised to discuss the matter with the members of the next Roma Alliance meeting. He added he would join the forthcoming visit to Medjimurje and convey a message that cases like this must be treated seriously.
One of the topics at the meeting was the report on the dog shelter project in Roma settlements in Medjimurska County, drafted by Aleksandra Hampamer. The report clearly indicates that the Čakovec animal shelter is too overwhelmed to absorb the constant inflow of wounded, injured and most horribly abused dogs from Roma settlements, which also suffer numerous health problems. “We also spoke about improving animal protection legislation and proposals for amendments to the existing law, which I am sure to support as I did previously when I proposed some amendments to the Animal Protection Act,“ said Kajtazi.
Animal Friends Croatia believes amendments to the Animal Protection Act are necessary to end this alarming situation. Considering that over ten thousand animals are abandoned in Croatia every year, with an increasing number coming from Roma settlements, it is believed that concrete legal amendments aiming at prevention are needed, primarily in the form of spaying which has proven to be the most efficient and critical method of cat and dog population control. Thus, the group proposes mandatory spaying following the example of Greece which, in 2021, prescribed universal compulsory spaying of cats and dogs, with the exception of certain medical cases, except for licensed breeders.
“Spaying as a mandatory form of cat and dog reproduction control is an extremely important measure, and by prescribing it by the Animal Protection Act, we would help city councils and municipal authorities enforce the Act more easily and prevent it from remaining a dead letter on paper. This would also encourage responsible care for cats and dogs and reduce the uncontrolled animal reproduction and abandonment, the burden of which is predominantly taken by animal protection groups, together with units of local and regional self-government,“ conclude Animal Friends Croatia.