09/09/06 Letter to Hotel "Mihovil"

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HOTEL "MIHOVIL"
Attn: The director or person in charge of public relations
Vrpolje b.b.
22300 Knin
Croatia

September 9, 2006

Dear Sir,

We have recently found out that, incorporated in your hotel will be a facility for the processing, chopping-up, storage and veterinary-sanitary inspection of wild animal meat has been initiated. We wish to inform you that the Animal Friends Croatia organization opposes such a facility and that we are prepared to do everything so that the commercial massacre of the animal world does not begin in Croatia.

Hunting is cruel because a large percentage of animals suffer wounds from shotgun pellets and do not die quickly or painlessly. Young animals watch helplessly as their mother dies. If they have not yet become independent, they are awaited by a prolonged and painful death from starvation and predators. Hunting is not ecologically sustainable either, since the number of animals in the wild is in constant decline. As the case with fishing shows, humans are not able to use animals in a sustainable manner, but they behave greedily and shortsightedly instead. In that way they bring many species to the brink of extinction. Besides that, animals are not just numbers. Pursuing them disturbs the surviving individuals and tears apart their community. Endangered species, and even humans, often suffer "accidentally" in a hunt.

Croatia is the most desirable tourist destination precisely because of its preserved nature and animals. They attract higher quality tourists. An increasing number of tourists and consumers boycott countries and companies which show a lack of regards towards nature and animals.

Instead of tourism which is based on the killing of animals and the destruction of nature, why not target ecologically aware tourists? It often occurs that demand for meat and fish meals in restaurants is low whilst, at the same time, vegetarians find it difficult to find suitable meals during their summer holiday. They are often of a higher socio-economic status and above-average spenders. It is unacceptable to ignore the needs of vegetarians and their positive contribution towards the protection of nature and animals. There is no need to encourage hunting. If anything needs to be encouraged in regards to hunters then let it be their retraining and/or reorientation towards some other, more ecologically acceptable and humane activity.

Animals in the wild do not exist just for humans to kill but have a right to life and survival. There is no need to add new animal species to the list of those that humans kill for food. Does it mean that you will offer gorilla meat if there bees a demand for it?

We hope that you will choose not to provide the infrastructure for this cruel and unsustainable industry. Until you do that, we intend to boycott your hotel and encourage others to do the same. We intend to ask members of the EU not to give their consent to any activity which contributes to the massacre of the animal world in Croatia.

The animal world can and must bring a much greater benefit through ecological tourism than if it is killed off and served on a plate or exported to other countries. If at present it does not bring any benefit to tourism, then it is because people have not taken any action for it to do so. It is interesting that the bear sanctuary in Croatia is a real tourist attraction.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Validzic

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