The main characteristic that makes the summer newsletter different from the others is greater international activity of the Animal Friends Croatia organization. Just like this time last year, our activities jumped Croatia’s borders to Spain, Greece and Hungary. And to show that we haven’t totally disregarded activism at our home ground, we’ll take a brief look at all the events in our country and abroad in which our activists took part and left trace.
Stop exotic animal trade!
For the first time in the history in Croatia voice has been raised against exotic animal trade, and animal trade in general! On the first day of July ten of our activists and one caged exotic animal (activist Zeljko Skender in a monkey costume) protested against inhuman animal trade in front of a Pet Center in Zagreb. With a banner and leaflets which were handed out to passers-by we asked them to boycott pet shops which sell animals. We also reported five pet shops in Zagreb to veterinary inspection in order to examine conditions of keeping and ways of supplying with animals sold in them. We asked pet shops’ owners not to sell animals in their stores but to focus on selling food and pet stuff. We are preparing similar actions in other Croatian cities, and our activist who was sweating for half an hour in a warm costume says this is just a beginning of Animal Friends Croatia’s activities regarding pet shops.
‘Running of the Nudes’ in Pamplona!
It finally happened! This year, for the first time, Croatia officially had its representative at PETA’s ‘Running of the Nudes’ in Pamplona. Media paid great attention to ‘Running of the Nudes’ which took place two days before the Bull Race in Spanish city of Pamplona. There’s nothing much left to be said about that cruel entertainment and primitive tradition in which bulls pay high prices with their blood and lives for our ‘entertainment’.
Animal Friends Croatia’s activist Zeljka Mikulcic and three hundred animal rights activists from all parts of the world were brave and dignified while spiting cruel tradition. Zeljka was hanging out with colleagues from PETA, they were tasting new vegan food and exchanging experiences. When she returned home she was full of enthusiasm and even more motivated for activism. Her journey and participation in the Human Race was reported on by great team from RTL television which, among other media, exposed cruelty of bullfighting to Croatian public. Photos from Pamplona are available at our web site in our Campaigns section.
Animal Friends Croatia and Zeljka herself ask you to boycott Spanish tourism until this inhuman entertainment is banned, and invite you: See you again next year in Pamplona!
Circuses don’t quit, Animal Friends Croatia don’t give up
Italian circus Moira Orfei visited Rijeka, and our activist awaited it with a loud megaphone and giant banners!
Seventeen activists, mostly from Rijeka and some from Zagreb, held professional and loud two-hour demo. They were standing in front of circus entry and talking out people from watching the show. Media reported on this demo which was very successful because many became aware of the horrid treatment of animals in the backstage. There was even one incident. One circus visitor, even though not directly provoked, slapped our activist Martina Stanicic who didn’t fight back but tried even harder to persuade people to boycott circuses with animal acts. You can read more on animals exploited in entertainment industry on our web site in our Circus section.
Final call to boycott the Olympics
Animal Friends Croatia sent an open letter to all Croatian media asking for boycott of the Olympics in Athens because of 3,000 dogs and cats that have been killed by now in order to ‘beautify’ the city streets for oncoming Olympics. Unfortunately, the killings continue, and by the beginning of the Games next month, additional 15,000 dogs are going to be poisoned. On our web site you can also see disturbing photo gallery of poisoned and starved dogs.
Our activist at a workshop in Budapest
From 9-11 July, 2004, in Budapest, a regional workshop for NGOs on Protection of Wildlife against Commercial Trade in Central and Eastern Europe was held. It was organized by International Fund for Animal Welfare (www.ifaw.org) and among forty representatives from fifteen governmental and non-governmental organizations, there was also Animal Friends Croatia’s representative Ozren Cuk. Need for better education of customs officers in order to recognize smuggling of animals and tracing legal origin of animals caught and imported, suggestion for marking with microchips and storing of DNA samples of every wild animal when crossing national borders, were just some of the topics of the workshop.
Hunt isn’t fun, and certainly not sport
Animal Friends Croatia, by the request of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management which works on the changes of existing Hunting Law, created proposal for some changes. Proposal of our organization, which is based on citizens’ complaints, our previous campaigns concerning hunt, and on the change of Animal Welfare Act, is pointed at the problems of Article 54 of the existing Hunting Law, common disobedience of hunters, hunting areas and tendencies in modern society that show the hunt should not be considered as fun and sport. Our proposals are sent to veterinarian Ingeborg Bata who is president of AWAP – organization for protection of wild animals.
🙂 Fifty of our activists from all parts of Croatia gathered on Jarun lake in Zagreb on June 26. The meeting was held in a pleasant atmosphere with barbecue and delicious vegan food. Activists were swimming, socializing and mostly talking about previous and making plans for future actions.
🙂 Artist and Animal Friends Croatia’s activist Robert Franciszty played impressive performance Against Correction of Leather and Fur 2 as a part of international theatre festival PUF in Pula. The performance deals with issues of cruelty to animals raised on fur farms and extinction of many species of fur animals in the wild. Igor Bogdanic arranged music, and there was fire eater and didgeridoo player Ivica Luka Skoro.
🙂 Thanks to activists from abroad, we want to present you one very interesting vegan web site. For those who haven’t heard of it yet, visit www.vpsg.org or Vegan Prisoners Support Group web site, where you can read about the destinies of imprisoned British animal rights activists.
🙂 Four giant billboards by our organization appeared on Zagreb’s streets: a billboard with a sign Did your food had eyes? promoting vegetarianism, a billboard Family at seaside, dog in the street?! which is set as a part of our summer campaign, another pro vegetarian billboard We are all vegetarians, and the last one against vivisection Dead because of science. The billboards will stay at current locations up to September!
🙂 On July 10 our representatives were taking part in Open-door of animal shelter that was organized in Dumovec by City Department for Agriculture and Forestry. They presented Family at seaside, dog in the street?! campaign and through media asked citizens to act responsibly to their pets. They brought up proposal for new Animal Welfare Act and appealed to citizens to provide homes for animals of shelter Dumovec that are sterilized/castrated, vaccinated and marked with microchips. Photos of some animals from this shelter can be viewed on our web pages.
🙂 Actor Alicia Silverstone who has been selected as PETA’s 2004 World’s Sexiest Female Vegetarian, says: ‘Going vegan is the single best thing I’ve done in my life. I am so much happier and confident. I made a decision based on my moral beliefs.’
At the end of this issue we greet you and ask you to get active and cooperate with us in our fight for animal rights, welfare and protection. Animal suffering and abuse take place regardless of the borders, so our contribution in fight against it shouldn’t be limited within national or any other borders. There’s only one world we live in and we are all part of it. Wherever we go we leave our trace on it: as passive viewers or as active participants.
For the animals,
Your friends activists
*Photo by Tony Moore