11/10/06 Direct Violation of the Directive 98/58/EC and Directive 93/119/EC
Delegation of the European Commission in the
Republic of Croatia
Attn. Mr. Vincent Degert
Trg zrtava fasizma 6
Fax: 01 4896555
November 10, 2006
Dear Mr. Degert,
The purpose of this letter is to kindly ask you to react to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Croatia regarding the case of horse-abuse in Bregana. This case was already reported to responsible authorities and released to the Croatian public.
However, even though the horse abuse was obvious, well documented and recorded on camera, the work of the veterinary inspection was conducted in an amateur way and the responsible Ministry did not react in order to regulate and solve the case, but it even helped to cover it up and let it be forgotten, which presents a direct violation of the Directive 98/58/EC.
Even though this is not the first case where the veterinary inspections tried to protect the perpetrator or animal abuser, with the constant silent approval of the Ministry itself, such behavior becomes common in Croatia. Therefore for the sake of this case we contact you in order to urge the Ministry to finally start off some serious changes in the way it works and to establish closer cooperation with non-governmental organizations.
Attached you will find a press release where we briefly presented the case of the horse abuse in Bregana, as well as photos which will give you the exact picture of what it is actually about.
Using this occasion we also want to ask you to refer to the new Animal Welfare Bill which is supposed to be introduced on January 1, 2007 and is currently awaiting a second reading in the Parliament.
The problem about which we need your help here is the regulation regarding the legal obligation of stunning of farm animals before being slaughtered on homesteads. This regulation was an integral part of the original Act proposal, but it was later removed by the Ministry even before the Bill was sent for a second reading.
Because of this shocking and unreasonable change, the future Act will not be not compatible with the EU directives and most important, it is not solving the important problem of Croatia where the pig slaughter is a popular custom and a jolly feast in which the pigs are left to the brutality of their owners who slaughter them unprofessionally and with no prior stunning.
The excluded regulation was saying that farm animals bred on homesteads (except chickens and rabbits) must be slaughtered by an expert person and properly stunned before the slaughter.
This provision is excluded, so we ask you to take the stand for returning it back into the Bill, for the sake of the animals which are deprived of even minimal protection, and because there is no regulation about stunning of animals before slaughter this Croatian legislation becomes incomparable with the EU standards (violation of Directive 93/119/EC).
We thank you in advance for your valuable time and consideration of this request and hope you will send a letter of appeal to the responsible Ministry.