09/13/23 Seize All Animals in Abuser's Possession and Ban Him from Procuring New Ones!

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Animal Friends Croatia file a complaint over horse beating to the Croatian State Inspectorate

- The group demands amendments to the Penal Code to increase the prison sentence term for animal abuse

Animal Friends Croatia filed a complaint today to the State Inspectorate regarding the cruel horse abuse in the Orlovac village near Karlovac which has recently sent shockwaves through the community.

The detailed complaint, supported by information on the perpetrator’s identity and evidence of his earlier horse abuse of which he bragged on social networks, calls for an urgent inspection check. The group demands that the inspection ascertain the health and living conditions of all animals in the suspect’s possession, in cooperation with the Karlovac police station officials who have already launched a criminal investigation into a potential offense of “animal killing or torture.”

Animal Friends Croatia states it is imperative to ensure urgent veterinary care for the abused horse and adequate living conditions, and they call for all the horses and cows to be removed from the perpetrator’s possession due to his abusive character and evidence of repeated horse abuse, as well as to prevent him from procuring new animals to avoid similar offenses in future. The group warns that the submitted supporting evidence clearly shows that the horse beating and abuse is commonly practiced by the suspect and people around him, even children who can be seen hitting the horse. The animals in question are continually subjected to abuse, as evidenced by the shared video of the animal beating, making it more a rule than an exception.

The group demands that the inspection establish if the horses have been tested for diseases as required by law ensuring early detection and follow-up of certain prevailing diseases in ungulates, and if the abuser receives government subsidies, they be revoked and application for any future ones be refuted.

The video of the abuse that has sent shockwaves through the community shows two persons beating a chained horse in a barn. A major part of the recording shows a man savagely beating a tied horse on the back part of his body. The man filming the video can be heard repeating: “It’s fine, don’t hit him anymore,” however after the horse bucks, he instructs the abuser: “Hit him now!” The abuser continues to beat the horse with a stick, while joined by another man who hits the horse on the head. The video of the violent horse abuse was streamed live on Facebook where some of the abuser’s friends enticed animal torture with callous comments such: as “You’re going to test him,” “It seems this one has never worked,” “This one never works,” while sharing crying with laughter emojis.

“We strongly condemn this instance of horse abuse in the Karlovac area, and we expect the perpetrator to be urgently sanctioned, his animals to be seized and a ban on procurement of new animals to be imposed on him. Brutal and explicit abuse, shared on social networks was watched by witnesses and accomplices who found the incident entertaining, is an offense that carries a prison sentence of up to one year. We find that punishment for such crimes is insufficient as it does not deter the offenders from reoffending,” emphasizes Snježana Klopotan Kačavenda, Animal Friends Croatia Project Coordinator.

She states it is inadmissible for the Penal Code to prescribe considerably more severe punishment of up to five years in prison for property damage in comparison to the killing or cruel torture of a living, vulnerable being! Therefore, Animal Friends Croatia forwarded a proposal for amendments to the Penal Code to the Ministry of Justice demanding, among other, an increase to up to three years of imprisonment for animal abuse, or up to five years if the animal suffered severe physical injuries, severe health problems or death.

“We reiterate that scientific research in psychology and criminology shows that violent treatment of animals is an indicator of serious psychopathology and the first sign of pathological violence that leads to human victims. This does not only require the social condemnation of monstrous animal treatment but also investigation and action on the part of the police in case of any similar reports, and adequate sanctioning of the perpetrators,” concludes Klopotan Kačavenda.


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