10/03/23 Sign a Petition for Horse Log Pulling Ban on World Animal Day
Together with fifty other groups within the Animal Protection Network, Animal Friends Croatia invites you to celebrate October 4
- The forthcoming amendments to the Animal Protection Act should explicitly ban horse log-pulling contests
On the occasion of World Animal Day marked across the globe on October 4, Animal Friends Croatia and over 50 members of the Animal Protection Network have launched a petition for a so-called štraparijada or šlajs (transl. log pulling) ban. They were prompted by information received regarding horse maltreatment before and during competitions involving horses pulling heavy logs, more specifically the case of horse beating at a stable near the city of Karlovac, which was streamed live on Facebook by the animal abusers. Animal Friends Croatia has reported the case to the State Inspectorate and has put forth a demand for a legal ban on horse log pulling!
“We are launching the petition on a day that marks the necessity of animal protection because horse log-pulling competitions are in direct breach of legal provisions prescribed by the Animal Protection Act, Penal Code, and other regulations in the field of veterinary medicine. Such contests are already illegal as they involve daily horse beating in stables as part of the regular training sessions, while during the actual competitions, horses get beaten by hand, probed by sticks with metal tips, or whipped until they bleed. Considering that veterinary inspections can not give consent to such competitions as they are unable to supervise every stable and every competition, horse maltreatment will not cease until its causes are removed, i.e., until log-pulling competitions are banned,” explained Snježana Klopotan Kačavenda, Animal Friends Croatia Project Coordinator.
She added that regular “preparation” for a log-pulling contest involves beating horses in stables with wooden sticks, far from the public eye: “The maltreatment carries on day after day, for years. Even just before the competition, owners beat their horses for an hour at least to ‘hype them up.’ The reason behind this is for the horse to develop a reflex reaction out of fear of further beating at as small a gesture as a raised hand or a tap on the back, and to suddenly pull logs that can weigh up to two tonnes, a weight more than twice than animal’s own. It is shocking and intolerable to submit animals to such torture!”
In addition, horses are exposed to heavy physical exertion, shouts and screams by the crowds, car noises, and hot sun. As they have a very sensitive sense of hearing, exposure to loud noises causes them to fear and panic and suffer further during transportation to and from such contests during the summer months. The animal abuse is motivated by profits – the winner’s price can shoot up to 10,000 euros, while further profits are reaped on illegal betting worth tens of thousands of euros.
“Croatia does not have enough veterinary inspectors to monitor animal treatment and guarantee no maltreatment of horses before and during all such contests. Thus, we demand that the forthcoming amendments to the Animal Protection Act explicitly ban horse log-pulling competitions completely,” stated Klopotan Kačavenda.
Svjetlana Prodanović, DVM, Head of Animal Protection Network agrees: “Animal protection groups are appalled by findings showing that horse beating is standard practice by anyone involved in horse exploitation for primitive entertainment. The groups have suggested that World Animal Day be a symbolic date on which to launch a petition as an ideal opportunity to involve all concerned in the formation of animal protection in Croatia.”
She believes the amendments to the Animal Protection Act should urgently put an end to routine maltreatment practices by banning log-pulling contests: “As a veterinarian, I am appalled that such competitions subjecting horses to indisputable suffering take place at all, moreover, it is unacceptable that they have not been abolished yet!”
World Animal Day has been celebrated since 1925 on October 4, which is also the Feast of St Francis of Asisi, a famous saint and protector of animals, and also a vegetarian. The day was originated by German author Heinrich Zimmermann who organised the first celebration honoring animals almost a hundred years ago, gathering over 5000 people in attendance!
Animal Friends Croatia invites all to make small steps to change their habits and thus contribute to the protection of all animals including those far from the public eye – on farms, in slaughterhouses, labs, circuses, cages… They also invite local communities to mark this important day by implementing provisions of the Animal Protection Act by conducting dog micro-chip checks and implementing cat and dog spay programs.
Visit www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr to sign the petition to ban horse maltreatment for log-pulling competitions, launched on the occasion of the World Animal Day, and find out more about other proposals for amendments to the Croatian Animal Protection Act and ways to help animals.