11/06/19 Kicking a hen to death is not sport, it's animal cruelty and murder!
Animal Friends have strongly condemned the savage behaviour of a footballer which has horrified the public
- The Association has filed a criminal complaint against the footballer for intentional animal cruelty and killing of the unfortunate animal
The Animal Friends Association is appalled by the unsportsmanlike and inhumane behavior of the player Ivan Gazdek who, during the match in the Second League of Sisak-Moslavina County, intentionally killed a hen! Gazdek ran toward some hens who had entered the football field, then he struck the last hen, which did not manage to escape from the field, with a swing of his leg, and while feathers flew from her, he picked her up and threw her into the air, after which she fell back onto the field, so the enraged football player lifted her up once again and tossed her further away from the fence. The savage behavior of the player was sanctioned only by the referee with a red card, but it is disappointing that his club stated that they will not penalize him.
"We strongly condemn this shameful act and the cowardly behavior of the football player towards an innocent animal who died of bone fractures and in pain, and we will be filing a criminal complaint for the crime of animal cruelty or killing. Anyone who kills or severely abuses an animal, exposes it to suffering, and inflicts pain on it, faces up to one year in prison. The footballer also violated the Law on Misdemeanors Against Public Order and Peace, which penalizes the torture and killing of animals in a public place with a fine”, said Animal Friends. They point out that sanctioning abusers is also important because of the message that athletes and public figures send when they justify cruelty to animals as a supposed accident, "the fervor of battle", nervousness about the results of the match, and similar platitudes.
"The footage undoubtedly confirms that the kicking of the hen was deliberate and intentional! Gazdek did not even stop to check on the hen, he did not show regret, so the justifications and unconvincing explanations he gave after the game are obviously intended to avoid public condemnation and criminal liability", Animal Friends say, adding that it is worrying that the young footballer is trying to justify his behavior as an instant impulse brought on by quarrels with teammates and the stress of the game: “A small child could have run out on the field, as well. Would it then be justifiable for him to run and kick the kid? There is no justification for violence against the weak and for abusive behavior, and the law makes no distinction between a hen, a dog or any other animal. No apology is enough because it does not undo the act of animal cruelty and the killing of the hen. His words say one thing, and the recording of the event shows something completely different!"
They add that they praise the referee of the match who properly penalized the football player with a red card, but the complete absence of any condemnation of the player's violent act from his club is considered unacceptable and unsportsmanlike conduct. They say that such primitive behavior in another, well-ordered country would certainly be sanctioned and publicly condemned, and the club would expel him from the ranks, as in 2013 the Argentinean football club CS Bella Vista did with their player after he grabbed a lost dog, who ran onto the field during the match, and threw him on the fence. The club then stated that their club "cannot protect the human and sporting image of Jose Antonio Jimenez that has been damaged by his incomprehensible behavior".
Chickens feel fear, pain, and love; maintain social contacts and interact with each other. In their natural environment, the mother hen will cluck to her chicks even before they are born, and they will respond to it, as well as to each other, through the eggshells. In addition, chickens are intelligent animals with many primate traits. They are able to solve complex problems, understand cause and effect, impart knowledge, show self-control, and worry about the future. They are capable of recognizing and remembering more than 100 different individuals, including people. Still, about 47 million were slaughtered in Croatia last year.
Animal Friends remind us that this unfortunate hen, like all others, would one day have ended up slaughtered, so they urge everyone to reconsider their diet and attitude towards helpless animals that depend on our kindness and compassion. They conclude that it is extremely important to report and sanction every case of animal abuse because psychologists have long established that animal abusers are also violent toward people. More information on the animal abuse reporting process and the vegan diet can be found here.