06/04/07 Abuse of Cows at Bio Farma
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND WATER MANAGEMENT
Stanka Vraza 4
June 4, 2007
Subject: Reporting the abuse of cows at Bio Farma d.o.o.
We have been informed about the terrible conditions in which a large number of cows is kept at Bio Farma d.o.o., a farm in Cestica Krizovljanska, Krizovljan Grad bb, owned by Ivan Hudoletnjak. Several members of Animal Friends have visited the farm and ascertained themselves of the disastrous health condition of the animals and the terrible conditions they are kept in, which is documented on the photographs attached to this letter.
According to the information we have received, not a single professional veterinarian is employed at the farm and nobody is summoned when there is a health problem, which means that sick animals never obtain any medical care. Death of cows is no rarity and in such cases the employees bury them in the vicinity of the farm, which they do not report either to the veterinary inspection nor to the nature protection directorate.
During the inspection, members of Animal Friends found the cows on the pasture located across the road from the farm. The animals looked very neglected and emaciated, with clearly visible pelvis bones and ribcage, while many of them have lost their hair to such extent that they are showing patches of bare skin.
We were particularly shocked by the health condition of the cow marked as MPSVG HR 0 02500 5164, which has both of its horns growing into her skull several centimetres above her eyes, with the area around both wounds infected by maggots; the cow marked as MPSVG HR 0 5778 has a skin condition manifested by loss of hair and redness; many cows have a skin condition in the upper neck area that looks like scab; some animals have developed hoof deformities that are clearly a result of irregular trimming, as well as general neglect and mistreatment.
The farm itself looks extremely derelict. The food storage area is empty, with only some remnants of cattle food in the state of rotting. In the back of the farm, there is a very dark hall with a number of heifers and calves in a very grave state of health – 'in overhaul', as the employees have termed it in their specific jargon. The calves are very lethargic, while parts of their heads and bodies are covered with scab. All animals are kept on bare concrete, dirty excrement, and since the water supply lines are broken and leak, the floor is rather slippery. We were told that falling isn't unusual. The animals had nothing to eat and they were jostling and stumbling, expecting some food from us. When we asked why the heifers were not outside with other animals, we were told that they were 'in overhaul' and that they were otherwise never let out, since they were wild and nobody dared to take them out.
In another hall, we found several cows that were tied up, while one was attached to a milking machine. In the same hall, there were two horses, kept in a very small compartment on bare concrete, and right next to them there were several calves.
On the basis of the aforementioned facts, we suspect that the farm owner has violated the law in several respects, more precisely: the Animal Protection Act (Narodne Novine no. 135/06), Art. 4, subs. 2, p. 16; Art. 40; Art. 44; and the Ordinance on the Treatment of Animal Carcasses and Waste of Animal Origin, as well as their Disposal (NN no. 24/03), Art. 5, Art. 6, and Art. 7, subs. 2.
Regarding these findings, we must ask you to urgently investigate the situation at Bio Farma d.o.o. in Cestica Krizovljanska and to intervene in order to protect the neglected and abused animals. We also demand that the offenders should be punished in accordance with the new Animal Protection Act.
We would appreciate if you informed us by mail on the measures that you have undertaken and forward this report to other inspections in charge.
- Photos of cows at Bio Farma d.o.o. (on CD and in print)