02/26/06 Secret Neck-Breaking!
Animal Friends reacts to lies to the media and public and the persistent misuse of the term euthanasia
Animal Friends, as well as many media and the most of the public, is appalled by the action of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and its intended lies about the time when the chicken, gooses and ducks of the Trogir area were killed to prevent the spread of the bird flu virus. The spokesman of the Ministry justified the lies to stunned reporters by saying that it was an attempt of sparing the public from seeing the disturbing scenes of so-called "decapitation without detaching," that is, neck-breaking. The representatives of the Ministry persistently name that kind of killing euthanasia and by doing so they constantly deceive the public.
There is absolutely no justification for lying to the media and public or for secret killings of birds. In the future such procedures can only contribute to spreading panic since the Ministry herewith sent a message that they are ready to hide the truth from both the media and the public.
We believe that the Ministry has no right to manipulate the media and the public or to withhold the information which the public wants and needs to know. If they wanted to spare the public from disturbing scenes of brutal killings of the chicken which citizens already have observed recently, they should have reacted to the earlier condemnation of the killings of healthy birds. It is unbelievable that, instead of putting the chicken into quarantine in time, imposing large monetary penalties for quarantine offenders and adequate control of hazardous areas, Croatia chose a completely unnecessary, crazy and unreasonable way of killing healthy animals.
We also believe that it is untrue and shameful to use the term "euthanasia" or the euphemism "decapitation without detaching," because animals are being killed without anesthetics or stunning, which means they do experience pain and there is no such thing as painless mercy killing.
If the Ministry finds the scenes of killing of healthy animals as a precaution against the bird flu infection disturbing for the public, then it should have found other solutions which would not shock the public as much as the mass slaughtering of birds. Euthanasia could be performed by using cheap gaseous anesthetics like chloroform, which is known to all veterinarians.
It is even more ironic that such barbaric neck-snapping is taking place just a week after the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management organized a two-day workshop on animal protection. Guests at that workshop were representatives from the United Kingdom presenting the precautions they took against the bird flu and talking about the stunning of chickens and other poultry by using anesthetics.
We hope that during the fight against the bird flu in the future, the Ministry will, instead of hiding the truth, choose honesty towards all, the media and public, and finally start educating the public about the real causes of the bird flu.