Competition in Lic

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Dear Sirs,

I write out of deep disappointment because this year again in our Borough, which is supposed to be one of more developed and civilized Boroughs of Gorski Kotar and also Croatia, a savage and brutal "show" of log dragging by horses is being held.

I was hoping that the Borough chiefs, following last year testimony of this sad event, will show the level of society awareness (and consciousness) and stop the happening of this event whose legality is also questionable.

Namely, Article 4 of the Animal Protection Act (Official Gazette no. 135/06, 37/13) lists banned procedures for animal protection:

  1. In paragraph 1, Article 4 it says: "It is forbidden to kill animals, cause them pain, suffering and injury, and deliberately expose them to fear, against the provisions of this Act," and there is a prescribed penalty for violation (Article 66, paragraph 1, item 1) for companies: 50,000.00 HRK - 100,000.00 HRK, i.e. (Article 66, paragraph 3) for individual persons: 10,000.00 HRK - 15,000.00 HRK;
  2. Furthermore, in Article 4, paragraph 2, point 11 of the Act is states that it is forbidden: "to use animals for circus or other performance, film and TV shooting, advertising, shows or competitions, if they are during it forced to behave unnaturally or it is causing them pain, suffering, injuries or fear" and the prescribed penalty for violation is (Article 67, paragraph 1, item 3) for companies 30,000.00 HRK - 50,000.00 HRK, i.e. (Article 66, paragraph 3) 5,000.00 HRK - 15,000.00 HRK for an individual;
  3. Furthermore, in Article 4, paragraph 2, item 11 of the Act it states that it is forbidden to: "force animals to behave in a way to cause them pain, suffering, injuries or fear," and the prescribed fine for violation is (Article 66, paragraph 1, item 1) for companies: 50,000.00 HRK - 100,000.00 HRK, i.e. (Article 66, paragraph 3) for individuals: 10,000.00 HRK - 15,000.00 HRK.

The event that is about to happen in our Borough meets all the above listed points that are legally banned.

Natural behavior of a horse, namely, is not dragging extremely heavy logs tied with a heavy chain through mud whilst being shouted, cursed and screamed at by dozens to few hundreds of people. A horse is a timid, gentle animal used to wide pastures and the presence of that many people, other animals, car noise, shouting of the crowd and similar, causes them huge amounts of stress and suffering, without mentioning the great physical efforts needed to, entirely for people’s fun and arrogance, move extremely heavy logs out of mud. In addition to that, whilst they are not competing the horses are kept in a field without any protection from the sun, in the heat, often without water. You can also see the children of horse owners, mostly male, who are trying to prove their "adulthood" and "manhood" by whipping the tied horses; even though whipping during log dragging is banned.

I would like to mention that what is happening here is not about "revival" nor "keeping the tradition" of log dragging by horse derrick. Tradition of mountain/Bosnian derricks includes getting the logs out of the woods, in the shade, in presence of a few people only, not in front of a rowdy crowd with the racket of loud music and screaming crowd, in a strong sun, without protection. Also, it does not include transporting animals to great distances and working only a few hours after arrival.

Due to everything listed above, I believe that the described event is very clearly not only illegal, but also unworthy of civilization level that Fuzina Borough wants to reach for their own population and for the tourists they wish to attract. This event, namely, only attracts profile of the people that we should not want amongst us: people who enjoy torturing and abusing other live creatures and exploiting the same with the purpose of satisfying their passion for low levels of fun. This manifestation would be a nice and desirable event if it didn't contain the element of animal torture by pulling logs and if animals had adequate but simple canopy in order to be protected from the sun and/or rain. This way, this event is a sad and non-acceptable remain of past times marked with a bad attitude towards other living creatures.

Also, I would like to say that as a dweller of Lic, where this event is held, I am additionally saddened by the fact that the manifestation is most often timed so that it happens during traditional Lika's religious and world celebrations and holidays that never used to involve animal abuse. Last year this "show" happened during the mass of Blessed Virgin Mary of Snow, where, in tradition of Lic, this used to be a holy mass where cattle's necks were blessed and they were shown respect and love in this way, and also thanks for what these animals did for their owners. Today this tradition has not only disappeared, it has also been replaced with rowdy animal abuse whilst loud music is playing such as "Zikino kolo" and other "juicy" folk music and even juicier cursing, all during the serving of Holy mass, with a presence of great number of people from all over Croatia who traditionally visit this solemn event. I don’t think that this is a civilization level that we want to show firstly to our children, and then advertise in public. Let's remind ourselves that this year we made the papers because of the mare that was cruelly left dying for days in Licko polje, and the horses of the same owner were roaming the field without and supervision or permission, without any shelter, protection, food, at the same time ruining religious objects in the Field. Is this community order and, after all, level of consciousness we want in our Borough? Are such newspaper articles adverts that will attract tourists? I don't think so.

With hope that you will accept stated arguments and in future hold described events away from our Borough.

Kind regards,

Adrijana Radosevic

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