07/12/24 The veterinary inspection banned the horse logging competition!

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The inspection refused permission for horse torture near Požega

- Horse logging competitions are illegal in Croatia, and beating a horse as part of the preparations is punishable by prison

It seems that the multiple reports, the protest in front of the State Inspectorate and the petition to ban the horse logging competitions (štraparijade or šlajs) have been fruitful. After the illegal approval of the holding of the horse logging competitions in Velika Gorica and near Lonjsko polje, the Veterinary Inspection refused to give a permit for the holding of this competition near Požega.

"Given that the State Inspectorate persistently ignored all our well-founded complaints, we sent a letter to the Chief State Inspector Andrija Mikulić and pointed out that horse logging competitions are already prohibited by law and cannot be without cruelty. We are glad that the Inspection acted appropriately and according to the law, and protected the horses", stated Animal Friends Croatia.

They added that they believe this is the end of the exploitation and abuse of horses in Croatia for the sake of grotesque entertainment: "The Veterinary Inspection is responsible for the implementation of the Animal Protection Act, which prohibits the use of equidae for extracting logs from forests and carrying firewood, except in hard-to-reach areas where it is not possible in any other way. This also prohibits any use of equidae at horse log-pulling competitions and other so-called "competitions". A legal expert confirmed that the law does not foresee any exceptions regarding the use of equidae! Violations of the law are subject to high fines, and torture of horses is punishable by imprisonment."

Violence against horses was recorded by Animal Friends Croatia when they visited the last two horse log-pulling competitions that took place in Croatia. In Velika Gorica, they filmed a violent whipping of a horse, while in Lonjsko polje, a visitor overheard a conversation between several people present that they were "drugging" the horses before the competitions. Animal Friends Croatia was contacted by an expert in horse breeding, disgusted by the fact that this, as he says, evil that is done to animals, is happening in Croatia. He stated that problematic individuals are trying to introduce horse logging competitions into our country and that they have nothing to do with our customs and culture and that they are embarrassing Croatia.

All true animal lovers who have ever seen a horse log-pulling competition agree on one thing - forcing horses to pull heavy logs is no fun! According to witnesses, these are noisy events where whips are bought for children and they are taught that kicking horses is acceptable, while the horses fall off their feet from exhaustion, being exposed to shouting from the crowd and aggressive owners, among whom the leading ones are those who already have a criminal history. These infamous events are characterized by a negative atmosphere and aggression towards horses, from painful beatings in the stables as part of the inevitable preparations for the competition, which the Croatian public witnessed on video, to rough loading into vehicles, driving to remote locations and mistreatment at competitions.

All of these are the reasons why, according to surveys, more than 80 percent of Croatian citizens demand a complete ban on the holding of horse log-pulling competitions. In addition to being illegal, the welfare of horses is violated both before and during the competitions. Both citizens and associations expect that the Veterinary Inspection does not give in to aggressive individuals, but to continue to protect horses and a clear legal provision that prohibits their use for pulling logs. They believe that the inspection has finally said enough to abusing horses and mocking passed laws.

Animal Friends Croatia considers it commendable that the Veterinary Inspection listened to their profession and the majority opinion of the public and refused to give permission for the primitive mistreatment of horses. It is really impossible to give permission for something that does not comply with the Animal Protection Act and for something that cannot even be guaranteed to be cruelty-free. They say that instead of making money betting on the suffering of horses, people can gather and be entertained at exhibitions of the beauty and care of horses. Horse logging competitions certainly have an alternative, but by no means a justification.

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