08/10/07 Crazy or Just Playing Games???
Animal Friends is appalled at the decision of the Ministry to pay compensation to the sheep guardians of Kornati!
Animal Friends was unpleasantly surprised by the decision of the ministers Petar Cobankovic and Bozidar Kalmeta to pay compensation to the sheep guardians of Kornati for the loss of their herds, even though they are directly responsible for the tragic death of their sheep!
Immediately after the news about the grave state of the sheep on the islands of Kornati, Animal Friends wrote to the veterinary inspection in Sibenik, demanding legal proceeding against those who were responsible for the disaster (the sheep guardians).
Drago Skracic, Marino Jezina, and other sheep guardians who have remained anonymous to the public, have directly caused the death of more than 1,200 sheep by recklessness and neglect of their basic needs. The way things stand at the moment, the state is even going to reward them for that?!
Animal Friends is asking those who are in charge of this issue at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management: How is it possible that, instead of being penalized as the law would be require it, those who have violated the Animal Protection Act will be additionally stimulated and motivated to continue their negligence towards animals in the future?
The sheep guardians of Kornati have directly violated the following rules of the Animal Protection Act:
- Article 4, Paragraph 2, Item 16, It is prohibited to neglect an animal in terms of its health, housing, nutrition, and care.
- Article 40 (1) The type, quality and quantity of feed provided to animals must be appropriate to the species, age and physiological needs of the animals. (2) Animals must have access to sufficient quantities of drinking water of suitable quality according to their needs. (3) Animals must be offered feed and water in a manner that is appropriate to their species and age. (4) Feeding and watering facilities and equipment must be kept clean, and facilities must be equipped in such a way that animals can take food and water in a manner appropriate to their species.
- Article 42 Animals which are either temporarily or permanently not kept in buildings must, where necessary, be protected from adverse weather and climatic conditions, predators and other risks to their health and well-being.
For the violation of these articles stated in the Animal Protection Act, a legal person shall be liable to a fine from 30,000 Kuna to 50,000 Kuna while a natural person shall be fined from 5,000 Kuna to 15,000 Kuna for committing the same offence.
Animal Friends demands of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management, as well as the inspections in charge, to act urgently according to the Animal Protection Act and punish appropriately those who are responsible for the mass dying of sheep on the islands of Kornati!
Is it possible that in Croatia crime against animals should be rewarded rather than penalized?! Is it possible that none of the officials in charge should see the truth and the state of facts? Have they all suffered some heat stroke, which has impaired their common sense? Perhaps a cruise of several months without a possibility of coming to the shore to take drinking water would finally open the eyes of ministers Cobankovic and Kalmeta and help them realize the graveness of the crime against the sheep of Kornati and the horror of suffering that they had to endure because of human negligence and recklessness, being exposed to sunshine and drinking sea water?!
Perhaps then it could be said that Croatia functions according to the rule of law and the new Animal Protection Act would cease being a mere farce and a "law for the naïve." Perhaps…
It is perfectly clear, and minister Cobankovic has said it himself, that the death of sheep could have absolutely been prevented. So, the question is: Who will eventually be held responsible according to the Animal Protection Act – the irresponsible sheep guardians or the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Water Management?