08/28/08 Tragedy of Cows at Croatian-Bosnian Border
Animal Friends appalled with the state of cows in transport
- Dying on no-man's land because of paperwork
After today's report in the 12:00 (noon) news on HRT1 channel about a truck with 36 cows in the last phase of pregnancy, which has been kept at the border between Croatia and Bosnia, nearby the town of Zupanja, because of faulty paperwork, Animal Friends received numerous telephone calls of shocked and weeping citizens.
Basing ourselves on the Regulation on the Live Animals Transport and the Animal Protection Act, we have sent a report to the Veterinary Inspection of Zupanja, Veterinary Inspection of Vukovarsko-srijemska County, Zupanja Police Headquarters, Mr. Goran Jerbic - Head of the Sector of Border Veterinary Inspection and International Transport, and Andjelko Gaspar - Head of the Veterinary Inspection Sector at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery, and Rural Development.
Animal Friends is appalled with the attitude of Croatian customs officers and the Croatian authorities for having allowed the suffering of these animals, which are being transported to Bosnia all the way from Czech Republic.
Every year, millions of animals are subjected to unimaginable and unnecessary suffering during long hours of transport. Under such extreme circumstances, exhausted and sick, hungry and thirsty, they are transported for hundreds of kilometres, only to end up in slaughterhouses or factory farms.
Animals often spend as much as 72 hours without being unloaded and they are forced to defecate in the truck. Those who are being loaded on trucks for the first time are scared, especially if the transport workers treat them roughly and hastily. After a day or two spent in the truck without food or water, they are terribly hungry and thirsty. It is hard even to imagine the stress that these animals are suffering through fear, movement sickness, thirst, hunger, exhaustion, and fever.
It is also hard to imagine what the pregnant cows are going through at this very moment, kept at the border crossing of Zupanja-Orasje because of faulty documentation.
The insufficiency of paperwork should not be the reason for keeping these animals in inhumane conditions, without satisfying their basic needs. Since Croatia allowed the passage of cows through its territory without the necessary documentation in the first place, there can be no justification in ignoring the problem. The Croatian authorities should do whatever it takes to bring the cows back to Croatia and offer them basic living conditions until the administrative issues are solved.
Animal Friends demands an urgent solution of the situation by persons and institutions in charge and a severe punishment of those who are responsible for the miserable and disastrous condition of the animals.
This case demonstrates most clearly why Animal Friends and all similar organizations throughout the world are determined in speaking out against the cruel practice of live animals transport, fighting for its complete prohibition.
Members of Animal Friends and Association of Animal Friends "Dr. Ivan Rostas" headed for the border crossing of Zupanja-Orasje immediately after being informed on the issue.