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Still Killing Stray Animals While Promoting Tourism And Trying To Enter The EU

by CROATIA Friday, Dec. 24, 2004 at 2:54 PM

CROATIA Please send a letter of protest.

According to a law in Croatia, any cat or dog found more than 300 meters od towns is considered strayed and therefore can be killed.

Cats and puppies are being killed and hung on branches of trees in Medijimurje area in Croatia. Also dogs and cats have been killed by hunters. See pictures at:

(Mr. Nenad Matic, the spokesman for Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Croatia)

(EU Public Opinion e-mail:)

(EU Trade )

(EU Agriculture)

Dear Sir /Madam,

I am writing to request that you take immediate steps to introduce animal protection laws in Croatia. I am gravely concerned about the barbaric and cruel methods of stray animal control that are

practised in Croatia. Such methods are simply unacceptable in modern society and must stop.

Apart from the terrible cruelty involved, these methods do nothing to address the problem of stray animals on the streets. According to Croatian laws, any cat or dog more than 300 meters beyond town

limit s is considered strayed and therefore is allowed to be killed.

Cats and puppies are being killed and hung by the branches of the trees in Medjimurje area in Croatia. Throughout the last year, there were also numerous cases of puppies, dogs and cats being intentionally shot by hunters.

There is no excuse for failing to introduce laws on stray animals. There are many practical, cruelty free methods that can be introduced to control the numbers of strays, which poses no harm to

the animals, most notably a neutering program. These have proved to be very successful in other countries. Please do intercede. Stop the

barbaric cruelty and ensure that a proper legal foundation for animal protection is created in Croatia.

Yours sincerely,

name :

E-mail :

Country :

Article written in the year 2000. As of today, nothing has changed in Croatia!

This summer, I visited the island of Hvar in Croatia on the Adriatic coast. I was sickened by the widespread abuse of dogs and cats. Although not everyone abuses and kills animals, there seems to be a cultural practice of treating cats the same way many cities in the West treat rats. I stayed in the residential section of the city of Stari Grad. Every night I listened to cats being tortured and killed. I saw kittens tied up in airtight plastic bags and thrown in garbage cans. (I was told this was one of many methods of controlling their cat population), I watched cats intentionally run over by cars and I listened to two week old kittens cry all day and night after they were dumped off on vacant land without their mother and left to die.

After listening to a kitten cry all night and afternoon, I found it behind a museum near the house where I stayed. Mind you this was in the center of a densely populated town. Not one person came to rescue or feed this kitten. Many of the employees at the tourist bureaus and business owners or managers who spoke English denied any knowledge of these practices. Others would say they were from elsewhere in Croatia and animal treatment was better in the rest of the country. However, if I spoke to them at length, they would occasionally slip and let on that similar abuses also occurred in their hometown. Others were more truthful and admitted that they had a terrible problem with the cat population. Common methods of controlling the cat population were taking cats, especially kittens, on ships and throwing them into the sea. Another type of animal control is done in the winter, when the tourists are gone. That is when the government places poison throughout the town. I was told this form of animal control had been practiced for over twenty years.

Over the past ten years, owning purebred dogs has become fashionable in Croatian society. During my stay I learned that many people take these dogs to the coast using them as a status symbol only to abandon them when their holiday is over. When I asked the town’s veterinarian if there were any laws against cruelty to dogs and cats, I was informed that there wasn’t. His excuse was that Croatia is a poor country and doesn’t have the means for better animal treatment. But, establishing laws protecting cats and dogs isn’t expensive. Croatia, might be considered to be a developing country but is much more developed than other countries in Europe, such as Byelorussia or Ukraine. Homelessness is uncommon. If Croatia’s society and government refuse to change their treatment of animals, perhaps people can help persuade them to do so. Since one of their biggest industries is tourism, the threat of a boycott might get their attention.

To observe these practices, one has to live with the natives in their neighborhoods (they keep the tourist areas clear of strays.) Speaking a Slavic language was helpful so that I could understand what the people said.

Every small action will help. Please take the time to let the Croatian government know you do not approve of this behavior. Also spread the word to others who might be able to help. Posting this letter on a web site or reprinting it in a newsletter will help spread the word. The situation on the Adriatic coast of Croatia is horrible. Please spread this information, inform everyone you know. Help put pressure on the Croatian government to implement and enforce humane animal welfare laws.

Other email addresses of Croatian authorities where letters of protest can be sent.

Office of the Prseident -

Parliament of Croatia -

Office of the Prime Minister

Croatian Ministry Of Tourism

Croatian Embassy USA -;;

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