AnimaList newsletter special 2023.

In a special edition of AnimaList, we present an annual overview of our activities and achievements in 2023.

Major Campaigns

Where is Cow Queen?

Inspired by the fact that Belje, on behalf of the Cow Queen brand, tells fairy tales to the public that their cows live like queens, we decided to tell the real version of the story through a new campaign called “Looking for a Queen.” We emphasized that it is wrong to call cows queens and then take away and kill their children immediately after birth and slaughter them after their milk production declines. We sent a letter to Belje and held a protest in front of the Belje dairy farm in Mitrovac, where we clearly stated that taking children away from their mothers is not a royal treatment.
As part of the campaign, an independent research on the processes of cow milk production was conducted, revealing that 68.4% of Croatian citizens do not know that cows produce milk because they have given birth. With a large installation in the center of Zagreb, we revealed what happens to cows and calves in the dairy industry, and we organized a virtual reality action. Additionally, we put up billboards encouraging the switch from cow’s milk to plant-based milk and sent a proposal to Croatian dairies to start producing plant-based milk.

Plant-Based and Cultivated Meat

We reminded citizens to sign a petition for investing in the development of plant-based and cultivated meat at the EU level. Almost 500,000 EU citizens support the development of sustainable plant-based and cultivated meat. On World Meat Free Day, we organized a promotion of the Balkan Vegan cookbook, where vegan stuffed cabbage could be tasted. We also organized a tasting of vegan steak on World Plant-Based Meat Day and educated people about cultivated meat.

Vegan Meals in Cafeterias

We invited all students to participate in a survey on introducing vegan meals into university cafeterias and residences. We set up a stand in front of the Student Center, offering a tasting of vegan dishes and collecting signatures for the introduction of vegan meals in public institutions. The survey showed that 92% of respondents support the introduction of vegan options, with 68% of them consuming vegan meals regularly or occasionally. We submitted a request to the Ministry of Science and Education, attaching the survey results, and urged Minister Radovan Fuchs to listen to students and initiate necessary changes.

Responsible Guardianship

  • This year, we participated in two “Adoption is Cool” campaigns; the first was in March under the slogan “Our Love With Ears,” and the second in October on the theme “Cats in the City.” Additionally, we continued our campaign “Family to the Seaside, Dog to the Street?!” for the 20th consecutive year, emphasizing the importance of adoption, castration, microchipping, and responsible guardianship.
  • We marked World Spay Day, urging local communities to commemorate the day by enforcing animal protection laws.
  • On International Homeless Animals Day, we called for responsibility to reduce the number of animals without homes.
  • We reported that the City Assembly of Zagreb adopted a program for controlling the population of stray dogs in Zagreb.
  • We put up posters against keeping dogs on chains, sending a message about the necessity of improving legal animal protection.
  • For International Feral Cat Day, we asked veterinary clinics to send an educational message about the benefits and importance of neutering and to provide free neutering for feral cats.
  • On World Spay Day, we reminded local government units to actively work on the implementation of animal protection laws.

All About Legislation

  • We reported that the municipality of Pribislavac enacted a resolution prescribing specific conditions for keeping dogs, informing all local government units about it.
  • We informed all local government units that the Animal Health Act came into force at the end of December 2022.
  • We sent a letter to the Minister of Agriculture to enact legal regulations for the free-range keeping of animals.
  • We welcomed the good news from the Ministry of Administration and Justice, which prescribed higher penalties for abusers and prison sentences for abandoning animals, as we proposed. Additionally, the Law on Offenses against Public Order increased the fines for animal abuse in public. We sent our additional proposals to the Minister of Administration and Justice.
  • We announced that as members of the Commission for drafting a new Animal Protection Act, we would advocate for the ban on breeding animals that suffer due to their physical characteristics. We also sent brochures with proposals for legal changes to members of parliament as part of the Better Animal Protection campaign.
  • We wrote to the Ministry of Agriculture regarding measures to control African swine fever and requested the regulation of the status of domestic animals that are pets.



At the beginning of the year, we emphasized that January is ideal for making a good decision that benefits us, the planet, and all its inhabitants. One such initiative is Veganuary, aimed at encouraging as many people as possible to try veganism in January, as advocated by numerous celebrities. In Croatia, Matei Negovetić shared his favorite vegan recipe and called for the Veggie Challenge. As more people transition to veganism, vegan products are becoming more accessible and diverse worldwide.


We organized the 12th Veggie Fair, showcasing how veganism has become mainstream and appealing to everyone. In this green oasis, petitions could be signed, excellent food tasted, and information about sustainability obtained. Read an interview with MEGGLE, and see photos of the VeggieFair here.

ZeGeVege festival

The 15th ZeGeVege Festival took place on the European Square in Zagreb on September 1st and 2nd. Lidija Lijić, a multiple world record holder and breath-holding champion, was the face of the festival and invited everyone to dive into the richness of vegan foods. Goran Višnjić also called on people to participate and recorded an inspirational video. Attendees could hear various educational talks on stage and try Venezuelan arepas, Lebanese falafel, Japanese mochi, and other dishes. The festival received recognition from Mayor Tomašević, Minister of Agriculture Vučković as a government representative, and President Milanović. See the festival photo gallery.


We showed that even major holidays like Christmas and Easter can be celebrated with traditional vegan dishes to save more lives.

We reported that Kraš’s Bajadera is now labeled with V-label, and the domestic brand O’Plant was among the finalists of the International V-Label Awards 2023.

Commemoration of Important Dates

  • In 2023, we marked numerous world and international days in various interesting ways. On World Plant Milk Day, we promoted the Veggie Challenge and gifted a barista with plant milk. On Plant Burger Day, we informed about the benefits of plant-based meat, and on World Pet Day, we showcased an impressive documentary, “Home Forever.”
  • For Animal Protection Day, we initiated a petition to ban donkey races, which you can sign here and read the reasons why it is essential to ban them as soon as possible.
  • On World Day for the Elimination of Speciesism, we urged everyone to reflect on how they can avoid speciesism in everyday life and language. On Mother’s Day, we reminded people that animals also love their mothers.
  • On World Health Day, we highlighted the advantages of plant-based products and emphasized that plant-based nutrition is linked to good health, weight reduction, and a longer life.
  • On Farm Animal Day, we revealed a shocking statistic that every year, 90.2 billion sentient beings end up in slaughterhouses.
  • We celebrated World Vegan Day, as in previous years, by displaying vegan flags in Croatian cities and illuminating the Meštrović Pavilion and fountains near NSB in vegan colors. Ambassador of Vegan Day, Marija Omaljev, along with coaches Ivana Martinec and Marko Samardžija, called for positive changes.
  • Our traditional performance on International Animal Rights Day conveyed a message of “stop” to the abuse, torture, and killing of animals in various industries. You can view the photo gallery of the performance here.

Climate and Ecology

  • On Earth Day, we informed the public about plant-based diets and vegan lifestyles, urging participation in a climate protest organized by the Green Action association. On the Earth Overshoot Day, we highlighted another study confirming the need to drastically reduce meat, milk, and egg consumption.
  • The slogan for this year’s World Food Day was: “Water is life, water is food. No one should be neglected.” We emphasized that animal-based food production requires much more water than plant-based food production, causing significantly more water pollution.
  • We participated in the “Food Wave – empowering urban youth for climate change” project initiated by the vegan restaurant OAZA Joyful Kitchen and the City of Zagreb. The project aimed to educate young people about the importance of climate awareness and the connection between responsible behavior and diet. In this context, we held a lecture titled “Comparison of different diets and their impact on the climate.”

Reports to Inspections and Reactions to Abuse

Shelter Reports

After an incident where a group of dogs attacked a smaller dog at the Shelter for Abandoned Animals in Beli Manastir, we requested an inspection. Long-standing irregularities, unaddressed by inspections, came to light.
We reported the Veterinary Clinic Crikvenica d.o.o., which, as a legal entity, operated an unregistered animal shelter. For over four years, they signed lucrative contracts for a closed shelter that was out of operation.

Circus Candy Report

We reported a circus with animals that began its tour in Croatia in Međimurje and continued with numerous stops, being given a blessing by the inspection. Since the authorities persistently ignored our report, we reported it again and received a disappointing response. We also called for a legal amendment to ban all animals in circuses without exception.

Against Animal Rape

The scandalous case of Ivor Ivanišević, who sexually abused his two dogs for years, ended in a shameful epilogue. The statute of limitations ran its course and the rapist remained unpunished for his monstrous abuse despite our numerous attempts to prevent this. After the statute of limitations, we wrote to Belgian animal protection organizations and leading Belgian media to expose the dog abuser living among them.
Sadly, this wasn’t the only case of sexual abuse of animals this year. We strongly condemned the brutal rape and subsequent killing of a helpless cat by minors in a Roma settlement in the Međimurje County. The judge’s statement that the children “are finding themselves” and that this is not uncommon among minors was disgraceful. We had a meeting with MP Veljko Kajtazi, who publicly condemned the rape of the cat.

Illegal Races and Horse Abuse

We reacted and reported to DIRH a case of severe horse abuse in the settlement of Orlovac near Karlovac, which gained public attention. A veterinarian commented that the beaten horse was in excellent condition to which we sent a letter to the Croatian Veterinary Chamber, emphasizing the unacceptable nature of such abuse in “training” horses for log-pulling competitions known as “šlajs”. We urged the State Inspectorate not to approve permits for these cruel competitions and called on the public to sign a petition.

African Swine Fever

We sent a letter to the Minister of Agriculture regarding control measures to combat African swine fever, as we received numerous reports of regulations being violated during transportation to slaughterhouses.

Other Reports

  • We reported a case of a dog being intentionally run over, intentional killing of two dogs by a hunter, a case of throwing a dog out of a window, and requested inspection supervison of the Bizik family zoo.
  • In 2023, we reported 11 cases to municipal wardens and forwarded 46 cases to the Veterinary Inspection at the State Inspectorate.
  • As in previous years, we advised countless people on how and where to report animal neglect, abuse, and killing.

Other Areas of Work

Animal Testing

  • We reported that the European Citizens’ Initiative “Save Cruelty-Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without animal testing” collected over 1.2 million signatures of support!
  • We joined animal rights organizations across Europe in collecting signatures against testing Botox on mice.
  • We commented on a new law in the U.S. allowing the development of drugs without animal testing.

Cruelty in the Fur and Leather Industry

We reported that PUMA rejects fur and kangaroo leather, and emphasized the cruelty of the fur industry with a shocking film depicting injured and sick foxes on Finnish fur farms.

Marine Wildlife

We called on fishermen to apply for the conversion of fishing vessels to improve the lives of both themselves and marine residents. We marked World Day for the End of Fishing and World Oceans Day to inform the public about the destructive effects of fishing and trawling on the planet’s health.

Bee Protection

We sent a request to all members of the Zagreb City Assembly to reject the Proposal for a Conclusion on urban beekeeping, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the ban on urban beekeeping. We were pleased to report that the proposal was rightfully rejected.


In June, we reacted to the cancellation of the Fireworks Festival and sent a letter to the Minister of the Interior, requesting better control of the sale and use of fireworks. We also called for a legal amendment to allow the sale of permitted fireworks from December 27 to 31. Before New Year’s Eve, we reminded everyone that firecrackers and rockets are banned throughout the year.

Epilogue of the Dubrovnik Shelter

At the beginning of the year, we reminded that dogs were still waiting at Žarkovica and looking for their forever homes. After starting construction on the future shelter, a public institution was established, and interim directors were appointed. In July, Dubrovnik finally got a shelter for abandoned animals. To mark the occasion, Dubrovnik actor Robert Bošković and the band Silente, during the holidays, emphasized that animals are not gifts under the tree and called for adoption and volunteering at the Dubrovnik shelter.

Brief Activities

  • We commented on the EU approval for placing insect-based food on the market and emphasized that a natural alternative to meat should be sought in plants.
  • In 2023, large companies such as Franck, Anamaria Company, and Kraš successfully obtained the V-Label certification for their products, enriching our market with new vegan cappuccinos, coffees, and sweets. Meanwhile, companies like Podravka, Vindija, and Zvijezda have proudly carried the V-Label on their products for years, and their selection of vegan products continues to grow.
  • We successfully completed the project of free castration in earthquake-affected areas, during which over 1200 animals were castrated at no cost.
  • We reacted to cases of dog attacks, emphasizing the shared responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, which has not introduced new regulations on dangerous dogs for 15 years.
  • We sent letters to local government units (JLS) to inform them about the possibility of using European funds for shelter construction and urged them to regularly update data in the Unified Information Center.
  • We published the Ministry of Agriculture’s opinion on contracting with shelters in other counties.
  • Based on reports from concerned citizens in the city of Osijek, we wrote to the administration about the necessity of amending the Communal Order.
  • We wrote to all advertisers about the regulations for advertising animals in the media, and with some of them, we had meetings to find solutions that comply with the law and aim to protect animals.
  • We reacted and condemned the announced shooting of a mother bear with cubs on the island of Krk.
  • We wrote to all veterinary stations about prescribed measures for animal identification and their implementation.
  • Check out photos of our posters.
  • We established new collaborations and partnerships with companies.
  • We gave interviews related to changes in the Animal Protection Act and in celebration of more than 20 years of the Association’s existence.
  • Due to the widespread negative attitude towards crows, we wrote an educational article emphasizing that even wild animals are residents of Zagreb.
  • We marked 22 years of our tireless work, reminding everyone of our achievements.
  • This year, we facilitated 692 more affordable castrations for citizens in difficult financial situations.
  • We held two meetings of the Animal Protection Network, at the beginning and end of the year.
  • We participated in Veganmania in Vienna and Graz, as well as Vegafest in Ljubljana. Additionally, this winter, with the help of our dedicated volunteers, we held several evening stands.

Check out our new videos on our YouTube channel:

  • “Looking for a Queen”
  • “How Much Do Croatian Residents Know About Cows and Milk?”
  • “Take a Peek into the Lives of Cows”
  • “Production of Plant-Based Milk: The Only Royal Treatment of Cows”
  • “Give Your Voice for a Fur-Free Europe!”
  • “Goran Višnjić Invites You to the 15th Vegan ZeGeVege”
  • “Marko and Ivana: Invitation for World Vegan Day”

We want to express our gratitude to all the associations, individuals, and our dedicated volunteers, as well as all the supporters who helped make this year so successful and full of activities! We couldn’t have done it without you!