08/31/12 Slaughter of Donkies
Ministry of Agriculture
Mr. Tihomir Jakovina, minister
August 31, 2012
Dear Mr. Jakovina,
We are writing to you on account of the news about the intended closing of the Liburna Donkey Reserve in Rasa and the plans to send the donkeys to a slaughterhouse.
When this news appeared in the media, it caused a backlash from animal protection and animal rights organiations as well as from the general public. We have received numerous phone calls from concerned individuals asking about the donkeys' fate and expressing great indignation about how cruelly authorities are treating these innocent animals.
Donkeys are an autochthon Croatian and Istrian species, and one of the recognizable symbols of this country. The reserve in Rasa is the only place where they can live and move in freedom. As a rare species, donkeys attract many visitors and play an important role in tourist promotion. Their presence shows that Croatia is a country that cares about its animals and its traditions.
Since donkey population numbers in Croatia has been decreasing, the decision to slaughter half of the elderly animals from the reserve is all the more scandalous.
We therefore insist that the only adequate decision would be to restore the reserve and to adapt it so as to fit the legal requirements. It should by no means be closed, and even if it were, killing the animals could never be a solution. It can only harm the reputation of the institutions in charge. Since we aspire as a country to reach the level of the more developed European states in the treatment of animals, our institutions should secure adoptions for all the donkeys and find appropriate accommodation for them.
Slaughtering the donkeys would not only be an act of cruelty towards these innocent animals, but also a slap in the face to all the efforts aimed at preserving Croatian and Istrian traditions.
We request your immediate action on this matter in order to prevent this needless massacre. Problems in our country should not be solved by killing, but by reaching humane decisions in accordance with the ethical principles of the 21st century, and by becoming aware about the unacceptability of such barbarous treatment of animals.
We would appreciate if you informed us promptly on the action you have taken, so that we may also inform the concerned public and the media.