07/13/04 Ban Hunting for Fun and Sport

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Animal Friends, at the request of Ministry, proposes changes in Hunting Law

At the request of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management which works on the changes of existing Hunting Law, Animal Friends made a proposal for some changes.

In the proposal of our organization, which is based on citizens' complaints, our previous campaigns concerning hunt, and on the change of Animal Welfare Act, is pointed at the problems of Article 54 of existing Hunting Law, common disobedience of hunters, hunting areas and tendencies in modern society that show the hunt should not be considered as fun and sport.

According to Article 54 of Hunting Law hunters are allowed to remove (that is, kill) all dogs and cats that are found inside hunting area on the distance of 300 meters from owner's house, or herd of animals if without supervision. In real life this Law is often misused what results with killings of dogs, cats and domestic animals by hunters for no reason whatsoever. We believe that there is absolutely no need for killings of dogs, cats and domestic animals and that the problem of their presence in hunting areas can be solved without the great authorities given to hunters, without killings. There are many reported cases of killings of domestic animals in front of their owners, children and passers-by, some of which are taken in court.

Animal Friends started off a petition for the change of Article 54 of Hunting Law and gathered over 4,000 signatures from Croatia and abroad.

We also believe that hunting licenses should be issued only to people who are trained to notice negative changes in environment and habitants, recognize animal diseases and alike. Licenses must be limited and controlled when issued so the common disobedience of hunters could be prevented.

Concerning Article 4 on hunting areas, we believe that besides national parks, nature reserves, special zoological and ornithological reserves and other preserved areas, all nature parks (including Nature Park Medvednica) can not be pronounced hunting areas, that is, in these areas hunt should be banned. Disobeying of ban on hunt in these areas should be strictly punished.

According with tendencies and ethical principles in civilized world, we think that hunt with purpose of sport, recreation, fun and tourism, using specially cruel methods such as bow and arrow and alike, must be banned. The cases listed in proposal for new Animal Welfare Act are excluded from this rule. Instead of hunt, we support eco-hunt, hunt with cameras, not rifles and other weapons.

More information on this subject can be found on our web site, and we also report on participation of our organization in regional workshop for NGO's on Protection of Wildlife against Commercial Trade in Central and Eastern Europe. IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) www.ifaw.org organized a workshop in Budapest. Among forty representatives from fifteen governmental and non-governmental organizations, there was Animal Friends' representative Ozren Cuk who will gladly inform public on the workshop itself and provide detailed information on organization's proposal for changes in existing Hunting Law.



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