Ban on Using Horses for Dragging Logs

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Horrible images of horses with open wounds who drag logs daily from the woods in Bregana and photos of horses who have collapsed under the heavy weight of logs in the woods of Velebit near Gracac highlight the need for protecting horses from being forced into heavy labor, which results in falls, injuries, and fractures to their legs and necks.

During such heavy physical work, the horses' legs and backs suffer. Even from long term exposure to the weight of a rider, blood circulation can be cut off to important areas due to constant pressure on the back muscle tissues. Tissue deformation in a horse's back starts after 12-15 minutes of being exposed to the weight of a rider, and after 30 minutes there is also pain. Everything after 30 minutes can cause trauma to the tissue, such as partial or full muscle dystrophy. Total weight of logs loaded on these horses is greater than an average rider, which means that the horses are exposed to unimaginable pain and callous disregard for their health and lives. This forced physical labor illustrates a callous disregard for the horses' health and lives.

The aforementioned animal abuse and torture clearly shows that provisions to the Animal Protection Act have been broken, especially those provisions that forbid inflicting pain, suffering and injury to animals; exposing animals to fear, unfavourable temperatures and weather conditions; and neglecting animals with regards to their health, housing, diet and care. Sadly, these provisions do not actually help horses because the horses continue to be relentlessly exploited and forced into doing heavy labor that is beyond their phyiscal capabilities.

Using animal labor in forestry became unnecessary at the beginning of the 1960s when forestry machinery was developed and could operate on any terrain, even steep terrain, making it more effective than animal labor. Experts state that there is no point to using horses as working animals in the 21st century when heavy physical jobs have been transferred from man to modern machines. Therefore it is necessary that new amendments to the Animal Protection Act ban the use of horses for dragging or carrying logs.

Please help us collect as many signatures as possible to help ban this cruel practice and the suffering of horses.

The petiton form in Croatian can be found here.

Abused horses - Velebit, Gračac [ 149.41 Kb ]

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