01/10/11 Horse Guard Shift-change
Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb
Subject: Horse Guard Shift-change
We address you concerning Horse Guard Shift-change with horses, which you, as the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb, organized in cooperation with Academia Cravatica institution on January 2, 2011, in which four horses participated.
According to the announcement, Battalion of honor procession route was scheduled to move about the following posts: from the Battalion of honor headquarters – Dolac 2, along the route Tkalciceva–Krvavi most–Radiceva–Kamenita vrata to Trg sv. Marka, which is rather long route (partially aslope and with frosted asphalt) for horses. Additional problem within the said Shift was also additional noise for the horses – created by cannon blast, considering the fact that ceremony started at 12 noon, after the Gric cannon blast.
Horses have much wider hearing frequency range than human ear is capable of hearing, so, for instance, a horse can hear even ultrasonic frequencies. Besides from hearing different from us humans, they also have very emotional response to all sensory information received. Considering the fact that horses are quite timid and very emotional animals and that even loud talk can cause them to feel discomfort and fear which, as it is well known, activates escape mechanism (from the danger perceived), putting them in absolutely unnatural and inconvenient conditions, such as the event said, can easily result in panic and injuries to horses (due to possible fall on slippery, frosty asphalt ground), and subsequent injuries to horsemen and audience as well as other participants in traffic. Besides the fact that it is absolutely unnecessary and inadmissible in civilized human society to expose horses to unsuitable situations and sources of sounds too loud for them, it is also subjected to penal sanctions by Article 260 of the Criminal Law and by regulations of the Animal Protection Act.
As the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb you are called upon to protect animals in accordance to Article 4, paragraph 2, item 11 of the Animal Protection Act which, among other, forbids use of animals for the purposes of performances if they cause pain, suffering, fear or injuries, which all points to your necessary exclusion of animals from organizing the events said as well as all other similar events.
In July 2010 in cooperation with Academia Cravatica institution you launched the Shift-change project, and thereby, as you claim, you are trying to promote Zagreb as capital of tie. This "exceptional cultural and historical value," as you say, doesn't really need to be promoted as an "attraction" along with horse guard, considering the fact that for the last few decades in Europe and wider, along with rise of animalistic conscience, exist all the more pronounced trend of developing a new approach to horses which puts a relationship of human towards these exceptionally emotional and intelligent beings on a completely different level, thence, above selfish interests of individuals seeking their own promotion at the price of health and freedom of another living being. Besides that, considering the fact that a quality and for tourists interesting program can certainly be realized in ethically acceptable way, and with absolutely no jeopardizing of animals, people and property, we call upon you as representatives of the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb to immediately exclude horses from the planned program and, by that gesture which will tourists undoubtedly appreciate, to contribute the development of Croatia as civilized society with high ethical values.
Please notify us of your decision, so we can inform audience and media interested on that matter.
- Ministry of Culture, Department for the Protection of Cultural Heritage
- Veterinary Inspection