02/24/09 Report Against the Equestrian club Equus Cabalus
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development
Veterinary Inspection Department
Veterinary Office - Varazdin County
County Verterinary Inspector
Zorana Sedlanic Cecelja, dr. vet. med.
February 23, 2009
Subject: DEMAND FOR URGENT VETERINARY INSPECTION AND FOR IMPOSING THE LEGAL MEASURE OF SEIZING ABUSED ANIMALS
Dear Sir or Madam,
We are shocked by the photographs of seriously neglected and tortured animals taken on the premises of the equestrian club "Equus Cabalus" which is owned by Dubravka Ostojic of Varazdin. Photographs were sent to us on February 23, 2009, and they were confirmed as authentic by the animal protection organization "Spas" in Varazdin. We ask you to order urgent veterinary inspection, to initiate appropriate civil and criminal proceedings and to impose the penal measure of seizing animals from the perpetrator as well as to impose other sanctions stipulated by the laws which are being violated (Criminal Law, Animal Protection Act, Cattle Breeding Law, Fire Protection and Prevention Act, Nature Protection Act, Animal Carrion Disposal Act, etc.). We also ask the Croatian Equestrian Federation for a response as to the measures which are to be taken against its member equestrian club Equus Cabalus.
According to the information we have received, on the premises owned by Dubravka Ostojic, the animals are kept in extremely inhumane conditions for long periods of time, even as long as several years. The perpetrator is publicly known for recidivistic violations of the law and for serious animal neglect.
Along with the photos, we also received information regarding the state of health of the animals which includes descriptions as follows:
- There are sick and injured animals with no veterinary care;
- animals kept hidden in the enclosed parts of the farm are in catastrophic health conditions evidenced by injured genitals, unmaintained hooves, spinal injury of a pony, and clearly visible pelvic, rib and thoracic bones on malnourished horses and cows;
- some animals have no access to food, while food for the others is thrown on the floor among feces so that they cannot eat it. One of the exhausted cows is mooning incessantly and and for days at a time, indicating her distress against which no action is taken;
- animals are kept in unclean environments including living in their own feces and being surrounded with horrible stench;
- animals are not cleaned meaning that all of the horses are covered with layers of filth which is evidenced in the photographs. It is possible and likely that there are skin injuries underneath;
- animals are enclosed all the time, unable to be in the daylight, and some of them have not been out of the enclosure for years. Two cows are constantly chained to the wall;
- the environment where the animals live is unmaintained and filthy which presents an obvious source of diseases;
- some animals, especially horses, have been kept in such conditions for the past 10-15 years;
- the building in which the animals are locked is dilapidated, leaving animals exposed to falling concrete from the ceiling;
- the current number of animals kept on the property is not in accordance with the number of animals reported to the responsible authorities. Thanks to those false reports the perpetrator gains financial income;
- deceased animals are being buried near the farm in violation of the Nature Protection Act and violates Animal Carrion Disposal Act. In this matter we ask for an investigation into the documented and number of animals being kept. This should include any animal deaths reported in the past several years.
Given the information stated above, we ask that all responsible authorities and services conduct an urgent inspection on the premises of the equestrian club "Equus Cabalus" and to urgently intervene for the sake of the neglected and abused animals by (1) imposing a measure of seizing the animals and (2) imposing all appropriate legal sanctions on the perpetrator. We also ask you to inform us in writing about all the actions taken, as well as the results.
President of Animal Friends