When most of its citizens deserted the cities escaping to the coast so as to spend their summer holidays there in spite of the bad weather and incredibly boring rain, Animal Friends Croatia’s activities didn’t take a break – not even when our office was flooded and when the power failured due to the construction-works in the street. Quite to the contrary!
Circuses are touring Croatia
After already one year of campaigning and repeated protests against circuses with animal acts, this summer another circus showed up for a tour along the Croatian coast – the Italian circus Acquatico Belluci. Animal Friends Croatia (un-)welcomed it with two protests – in Rijeka in July and Umag in August.
On 18 August our activists from Zagreb, Krizevci and Varazdin set of on the Island of Vir where they organized another protest against circus Gärtner, whose ‘performances’ already turned into burlesque, whilst the circus alone became a national shame. Namely, there is no water supply system on Vir, nonetheless the whole circus with 40 animal species was crammed at 70 m2 area near the main road at the entrance of Vir where animals had neither shadow nor access to fresh water.
In spite of Animal Friends’ reaction by reporting the circus to the municipal authorities, police administration, competent Veterinary Inspection and also Health Inspection, and despite the reaction of shocked citizens and tourists of Vir, it is sad that the local authorities responded to all that with silence and disregard.
During their Vir tour, a buffalo escaped from the circus, so the circus’ workers warned the inhabitants to stay away from the buffalo because of its aggression. The natives could observe that with their very eyes while watching the frightened buffalo injuring one of the workers who was catching it. Also, the AFC activists noticed that the elephants were confined into small and stinking truck trailers full of dung, seeing that they were showing heavy mental instabilities by their repetitive moves. Photographs and a short video clip can be seen on our web site.
Tourists are vegetarians, too!
We could easily say that 13 August was a vegetarian day in Croatia! Zagreb, together with six cities – Varazdin, Krizevci, Umag, Rijeka, Zadar and Split, offered its citizens and foreigners a complete vegan delicacies menu, including hors-d’oeuvre and the dessert. There is no point in stressing out that all dishes, as it is usually the case on similar actions, ‘disappeared’ along with its recipes and the bill of costs for every single dish, to the satisfaction of citizens and media people who tasted them, but also those who cooked them.
We hope that this action will encourage caterers, tourist workers and public institutions – who were our main target with this action – to include veg(etari)an meals in their menus, so that the ever growing number of foreign tourists who visit Croatia every year will have the opportunity to treat themselves with delicious vegetarian and vegan cuisine, which is a regular part of the menus in towns and countries they come from.
Don’t kill – spay and neuter!
Exactly one week after the tasting of the luscious vegan menu, Animal Friends from Zagreb held a demo with the motto ‘Don’t kill – spay and neuter!’ as a part of its summer campaign ‘Don’t leave me behind’. With simultaneous demos, activists from the branches in Split, Varazdin, Krizevci and Koprivnica also joined them.
Interested citizens received detailed and expert information about spaying/neutering from Mrs. Silva Rakocevic, doctor of veterinary medicine, whilst citizens can spay/neuter strays free of charge at Noah’s Arc and Blue Cross organizations.
If we only think that one cat and her offspring can bring up to 420,000 kittens into the world in a period of seven years (the number of the puppies for the same period is 67,000), we will understand the need of such educational actions as well as the spaying/neutering of companion animals and strays for their own protection as well as to prevent the uncontrolled reproduction and their death.
Live fish as objects
Fish cannot wag their tail nor can they whine, but they can suffer if one treats them wrongly. Hence we continued with education of the public and reports because of inappropriate keeping and exploiting of fish. After we reported shoe stores Roberto in July to the Veterinary Inspection, which kept fishes in their store windows, last month we also reported Kaptol Center in Zagreb because of keeping fish in the glass bowls in some twenty stores as exhibits between items that are being sold there.
Since fish are treated as objects and because of deficiency of the existing Animal Welfare Act, we demand and work on its changes, which will ban the keeping of fish in glass bowls and bowls without water-filter. We also want Croatia to follow the examples of Italy and the United Kingdom, which banned giving of goldfish as a prize.
Reunion of the beagles
One month after their rescuing from the continuation of the experiments at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the beagles were together again, but this time free and with their guardians in Maksimir Park in Zagreb, on 28 August. The dogs spent a pleasant afternoon on the meadows of the park, whilst their guardians exchanged experiences about adaptation of the dogs to a life in freedom after years spent in cages and laboratories. Photographs from this meeting can be seen on our web site.
After finding homes for the dogs, we continue our campaign about the experiments at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, but also about animal experiments conducted in other scientific and educational institutions in Croatia. We will also press legal charges against Slobodan Vukicevic and Antun Brkic, who after all is not suspended as lecturer, but instead of being severely sanctioned for the crimes he has committed and being permanently banned from approach to any animal, he further receives the salary as employee of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
We also demand the suspension of the veterinary inspector Zeljko Devcic and the inspector from the inspection of work of veterinary Tomislav Perokovic, as well as a revision of all animal experiments approved by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management for 2005 in Croatia because of obvious lack of control of animal experiments.
Also, will we continue to educate the public on the issue of vivisection, that is, animal experimentation, promote the alternative methods in educational institutions and direct buyers to purchase products that are not tested on animals.
– The police investigation on the children who in August in Sesvete near Zagreb savagely stoned tri kittens is over. The police will bring criminal charges against three minors to the Youth Department at the District Attorney’s Office according to the Article 260 of the Criminal Code, whilst against three other youths the special report will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office. Penalties of six months imprisonment or 150 daily incomes as well as one year of imprisonment if a person tortures an animal because of betting or gaining a profit can also be applied to minors between 14 and 18 years. Parents are responsible for juveniles under 14.
– Activists around the world, amongst which there were activists from Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and Hungary, have been campaigning against the Australian wool industry for the past year to end two cruel practicies, mulesing mutilations of lambs and live sheep export. After hundreds of international demonstrations and other actions, PETA and Australian wool farmers have come to an agreement that would phase out mulesing through a series of quantifiable steps, starting now and securing a total end to the practice by the end of 2009, and require that live export standards meet Australian domestic animal protection laws, with the provision that if, by September 2006, it is shown that the industry can’t meet these standards, sheep farmers who have signed on to this agreement will, within the next five years, stop shipping sheep overseas.
– If you want to help dogs in Bulgaria, please respond to the appeal of Bulgarian animal protection organizations and sign a petition at http://bganimals.freewebsitehost.net/index_eng.html.
– In Norwegian Rogaland the preparations for the building of the biggest fur farm in Norway on which 110,000 animals would be raised are in progress. Please, give your support to the majority of Norwegians who are against the breeding of animals for fur by writing a polite letter to: The Honorable Terje Mjatveit, Mayor of Ha municipality, Postbox 24, 4368 Varhauj, Norway, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– The Voice of the Animals organizes a vegetarian picnic on 10 September 2005 on Zagreb’s lake Jarun. Visitors can taste vegetarian and vegan dishes, whilst the program will consist of many musicians, dance groups, children choirs, fashion shows, lectures, documentaries about vegetarianism, projections, presentations of new vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and vegetarian magazine.
– The Informative Center for helping abused, abandoned, injured and lost animals will start working by 4 October in Zagreb in which operators will receive citizens’ calls 12 hours a day and give information about city animals on a toll-free number.
– In a scathing letter to David Beckham, the international campaign group Viva! has strongly criticized the soccer star for encouraging the largest massacre of wildlife on the planet by continuing to promote kangaroo skin football boots. Despite providing detailed information on the barbarity of the massacre, including shocking video footage, Beckham has refused to even acknowledge the international campaign and has continued to add to his personal fortune by signing a new deal with soccer boot manufacturers, Adidas.
– After six long, hard years of effort to close down the Newchurch Guinea Pig Farm the Animal Rights Movement in the UK have won this huge moral victory.
We would like to dedicate the very end of this e-newsletter to those who responded to our appeal and decided to help us with their monthly donations as well as to those who support us with their one-time donations, thus providing us with the funding that will assure that we will be able to continue our vital work for the animals in the future.
For the animals and those who respect them,
Yours Animal Friends Croatia