10/27/21 Don't shoot at them, it's not their fault that they are abandoned and hungry
Animal Friends Croatia are demanding from the Ministry of Agriculture to withdraw the decision on the shooting of domestic animals
- Veterinary inspection has not punished irresponsible owners for decades
The Animal Friends Croatia Association again wrote to the Minister of Agriculture asking her to withdraw the decision on the shooting of domestic animals in the vicinity of Opuzen and to find a new solution so that instead of shooting - the local community would find new owners of abandoned animals and hand them over to those interested. The Association states that they are aware that these abandoned animals should have been taken care of 10 years ago, that both humans and animals are suffering because of everything, but they believe that the problem mustn't be solved by shooting: "The animals are not guilty of abandonment, but are victims of irresponsible owners and state institutions that do not do their job.”
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, they were obliged to act according to the law, Animal Friends Croatia states that they agree that the treatment of animals should be in accordance with the law, but that laws should not be implemented selectively, choosing the most brutal solutions. "As far as we know, no person who left a domestic animal has been punished for it, although the Animal Protection Act prescribes a fine of 15 to 30 thousand kunas," they explain and believe that the biggest culprit is the veterinary inspection.
"Decisions of the Ministry of Agriculture on the shooting of animals were preceded by decades when the owners of domestic animals were not punished for abandoning animals, nor were they banned from acquiring new domestic animals. This is primarily a failure of the veterinary inspection, which is obliged to regularly monitor the conditions of keeping domestic animals, especially when people receive state incentives. Unfortunately, the State Inspectorate supports the lawlessness of local self-government units, which for decades have not solved the problem of owners who do not take care of animals for which they receive incentives ", the Association points out.
In the letter to the Minister, Animal Friends Croatia regrets that they did not know about the case of six goats on the island of Pag in order to prevent their slaughter. They point out that the goats were not "wild", but were tame, they approached tourists who gave them water, food, petted them and took photos with them, and they had an owner who did not want to take care of them. “We believe that you agree that it was necessary to sanction the owner who left the goats, as well as sanction the owners of maybe a hundred "wild" cattle, sheep, donkeys and horses on two hunting grounds in the Neretva valley, who left their animals in 2016. to wander, multiply further, eat flowers from the cemetery and look for food on other people's property. The owner stated that he has not had control over these animals for the past five years, while his sheep are under control and do no harm. It is incomprehensible that a person whose negligence and irresponsibility leads to a decision to kill many animals has more animals in his possession and that he has not yet been banned from acquiring new animals that he could also leave, " the letter reads.
They describe that abandoned domestic animals are left to roam other people's estates where they look for food in order to survive. Therefore, in 2013, they sent a request to the Ministry of Agriculture to conduct an investigation of all farms that received incentives in order to determine the condition of animals and confiscate animals from anyone who abuses the possibility of obtaining incentives and state land. They received no response. But even when they do not receive incentives, people leave their abandoned animals to the worst fate, which the veterinary inspection and the Ministry of Agriculture should sanction and prevent.
At the same time, Animal Friends is determined, the solution cannot and must not be shooting, but the animals should be caught and taken care of in a humane way - with an electric shepherd and food or, in the worst case, a sleeping rifle. Since their owners give them up, these animals should then be given to people who have the conditions to take care of them.
In conclusion, they appeal that in the future the Ministry does not "solve" human irresponsibility by shooting animals that are not guilty because they were abandoned, but to request that the veterinary inspection sanction negligent owners, and that the procedure of caring for animals does not include killing them. Otherwise, the same inadmissible situations to the detriment of unfortunate animals will continue to be repeated, as well as the people on whose lands the hungry are looking for food.