AnimaList No. 26

In the first issue of this year’s AnimaList we report about a new national campaign for a ban on breeding animals for fur in Croatia, first confiscations of protected birds this year, first town that banned circuses with animal acts in Croatia in 2006, first verdict against torture of companion animals in the history of Croatian legislation… Let’s get going.


Poaching in Croatia

At the end of past year we received information on incredible proportions of poaching of protected birds in north-eastern Croatia and their smuggling to the Italian gastro-market. Although the data of 85,000 killed birds, for which the total compensation sum amounted to almost 14 million Euro, refers exclusively to the confiscated birds in autumn of 2002, we estimate that the organized poaching and smuggling of birds from protected areas and private ponds continues.

While the officials mostly keep silent or distance themselves from such assertions, positive examples from the beginning of this year encourage: Namely, a higher inspector of nature protection Zeljko Vukovic with the Inspection of Nature Protection from Djakovo in January 2006 carried out two confiscations of protected birds. In Slavonski Brod he confiscated 19 illegally kept protected birds, whilst one of the provoked offenders during confiscation killed a goldfinch by hitting the bird against the floor. The same inspector found five protected birds in Siscani near Cazma, whose sale their ‘owner’ advertised in the newspaper. In both cases the offenders were reported to the proper authorities.

You can read more on poaching in Croatia at our web site.


For a ban on breeding animals for fur in Croatia!

This year we launched a big national campaign for the ban on breeding animals for fur production in Croatia. Following the footsteps of his colleague Goran Visnjic three years ago, Croatian actor Robert Boskovic joined this campaign. From 50 billboards in seven Croatian towns and under slogan ‘Do you know that 200 chinchillas have to be killed for one fur coat?’ together with chinchilla Pepo he invites Croatians to support the legal ban on breeding animals for fur in Croatia.

In addition to this campaign we invite all of you, who are able to come, to join us in great number for a loud protest in a big international march, which will on February 4 at 11 a.m. start off in front of Croatian National Theatre and head towards the main square in Zagreb, where Croatian and Slovenian celebrities will give support to the protesters.

With this historically important ban Croatia would stand shoulder to shoulder with Great Britain and Austria, which already legalized such bans, and showed a high level of consciousness of both its citizens and legislative bodies when protection of animals bred for fur is in question.


Five months of imprisonment for torturing a dog!

After our activists convinced themselves in the monstrosity of Ostoja Babic whilst listening about really painful details of consciencious brutal torturing and killing of one-year-old female dog in December 2004, judge Jasna Zoretic gave him a five months’ non-suspended sentence of imprisonment! The verdict was brought at the Supreme Court in Vrbovec on January 27. This is the first ruling of imprisonment for torturing companion animals in Croatia and the first ruling for torturing animals in Zagreb in general.

Just as it was the case with rescuing the beagles from illegal experiments at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb in July last year, Croatian public and Croatian media unanimously welcomed this verdict which induced positive reactions outside Croatia as well.

Unfortunately, torturing and killing companion animals are still a part of our everyday life. At the beginning of January, a driver of Samoborcek bus for public transport intentionally ran over a five-month-old female dog who followed her guardian to the bus. The reason for this inapprehensible act? The dog allegedly stained the bus with her paws whilst her guardian objected to the driver for smoking in the bus, thus infuriating him.

A few days later in one of Zagreb’s boroughs Zlatko Adilovic shot a five-month-old cat Kiki with an airgun while she was sitting on the stairs of her guardians’ house, justifying his act that he found the cat near meat in his garage. Ill-fated cat’s back legs were paralized and the cat had to be euthanized. The cat’s guardian and other neighbors claim that Zlatko Adilovic showed aggressive behavior many times before, threatening with death both to them and their companion animals. Zagreb Association of Animal Welfare Organizations and Animal Friends Croatia reported Zlatko Adilovic because of the criminal act of torturing animals.

We expect that the verdict to Ostoja Babic won’t be an isolate case, and that the Croatian judicial system will continue to penalize most severely the sadistic torture of animals. This is one of the indicators of the civilization level of a society. Adequate laws are grounds for punishing animal torture, therefore, we will continue to point out the necessity and urgency of changing and strictening the Animal Welfare Act, which doesn’t penalize such cases of animal torturing and abuse at all! We must not forget the implementation into the legislation of a permanent ban on keeping animals for animal abusers as well.


For Zagreb without circus’ cruelty

On January 30, Animal Friends Croatia’s activists and thirty-odd children, members of a group Animal Friends from an elementary school King Tomislav led by professor Karmela Farkas, handed in their requests for the ban on circuses with animal acts in Zagreb to the mayor Milan Bandic.

Children from fifth to eight grades handed over a petition with the signatures of 431 pupils from their school who oppose circuses with animal acts in Zagreb. They were entertained in front of the City Council by a woman juggler, who clearly showed that circuses could be funny without animal torture.

It is our great pleasure to announce that Dugo Selo and Krizevci joined 20 Croatian towns that already banned circuses with animal acts; Dugo Selo as the last town in 2005, and Krizevci as the first town in 2006 which banned circuses with animals!

You can send a few words of support and a thank you note to the mayors of these towns at:

– Mr Branko Hrg, the mayor of Krizevci, gradonacelnik@krizevci.hr
– Mr Boris Mahac, the mayor of Dugo Selo, gradonacelnik@dugoselo.hr


News and announcements

– Around ten members of societies Arka, Animal Friends and Blue Planet from Split spent the New Years eve protesting in front of the Split ZOO, thus wanting to bring into the spotlight the horrible conditions in this ZOO and neccessity of a ban on bringing new animals into it.

– Our fifteen-year-old member Mia shows that each one of us can do a lot. Her info stand on a Christmas fair in Karlovac was the second stand out of 35 stands by profit she collected by selling vegan meals and handing out educative materials and CDs about animal protection. The raised funds were donated to a home for homeless children.

– While the ex Croatian Big Brother finalists think it is fun to give a pig’s head as a birthday present to their colleague, we would like to point out a positive example of the Croatian talk show host Renata Sopek who, although she is not a vegetarian, categorically refused to slaughter a lamb in one TV show.

– Among other eco and civic organizations gathered under ad hoc Coalition of Civic Initiatives Animal Friends Croatia also gave its full support to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction in their resolution to firmly start implementing the Rule Book on Packaging and Packaging Waste, beginning with this year.

– Simultaneously with our sending of a letter of urge with the copies of the whole documentation to the district attorney’s office for solving a case of the beagles experimentation at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb in July 2005, the bone-breaker Antun Brkic reported to this very office a Jutarnji list (Morning Papers) journalist and two members of Animal Friends Croatia, which clearly shows that the district attorney’s office will have its hands full before ‘the beagles’ affair’ is solved.

– Following the unfortunate death of a Thames whale we sent out a news release to the Croatian media, pointing out how necessary it is that Croatia soon joins the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

– While we remind you once more not to forget to join us this week for a historically important protest for the animals bred for their fur at the Well of Life in front of the Croatian National Theatre, we invite you to also give support to our candidate Ozren who has been chosen from hundreds of entrants across Europe as one of the 15 male finalists in PETA’s ‘Sexiest Vegetarian Alive’ contest! If you want to vote for Ozren, who will in a couple of days defend the colors of vegetarians in Croatia, please visit www.peta.org.uk.

For the animals,

Animal Friends Croatia