The "For Croatia without Fur" Campaign 2007
According to an independent public opinion poll conducted by SPEM Communication Group Zagreb at the end of 2006, 73.7% of Croatian citizens agreed that fur farming should be banned.
On January 1, 2007, the new Animal Protection Act, which bans fur farming (Article 4, Item 2, Subitem 23), came into force. This regulation, however, will not be effective until January 1, 2017. In this long period, hundreds and thousands of animals will be killed for fashion and prestige. Furthermore, an end to fur farming does not mean an end to fur selling in Croatia and importing it from other countries for the purposes of that trade.
Hence Animal Friends in January 2007 launched a national campaign called "For Croatia without Fur" the aim of which is to stop the cruel treatment of animals by the fashion industry.
The campaign "For Croatia without Fur" started with billboards saying "Beautiful without Fur" with the attractive Croatian model Fani Stipkovic, which were placed in Zagreb and Split. The promotion of the campaign and the "Beautiful without Fur" billboard was set up on January 16 in the Regent Esplanade Zagreb Hotel. The Cro-a-Porter art director Viktor Drago, photographer Dusko Vlaovic, Fani Stipkovic and her dog Sauri, as well as the representatives of Animal Friends were present at the press conference.
Fani Stipkovic explained the reasons for supporting this campaign with the following words: "Looking at my pets, who also are my best friends, I cannot grasp how one can support violence to animals. The only difference between them and animals killed for their fur is how we treat them. All animals feel the same pain and they suffer equally. There is no sense in this torture of animals for fashion, especially since fur is not necessary and is completely replaceable. Imagine that someone skins your pet and makes a fashion decoration out of it. You can be modern without killing. Turn your back on fur and express your humanity!"
The same day in Zagreb in Club Sax, at the occasion of the promotion of a new album "Antigravitation" by the ethically and ecologically conscious band Hakuna Matata, Animal Friends' activists had a very impressive performance called "Animals cannot live without fur, you can." The performance started with a female activist stripping, dressed in a fur coat and ended with her "bloody" body on the stage floor. This performance sent a clear message that cruelty on animals is an unevitable part of fur clothings and that killing animals for fur has no excuse.
On February 3, the third big protest in a row, "Loudly for Croatia without Fur", took place, which was supported by 250 loud protesters and Croatian celebrities - Fani Stipkovic, Lana Klingor, Ivana Radovnikovic, Maja Vucic, Minea and Davor Masle - gave their support to the "For Croatia without Fur" campaign. The protest attracted huge interest of passers-by and numerous media people. This is what Croatian celebrities said about the protest:
"I absolutely support this protest. I came to the Ban Jelacic Square to give my support to all protesters and actively participate. I simply disagree with the idea of killing animals for fashion, beauty or trend. My intention is to support every such protest in the future as well." – Maja Vucic
"First of all, I support this protest and I will support future protests because I believe that fur is not apparel, and animals are not toys. I never wore fur, and never will wear it, and those who cannot live without it have an alternative – fake fur. I have a dog and three cats and I do not wish to see them either on my or anybody else's plate. I am very pleased to see that such a project has started, but the media should pay more attention to this and similar issues in our society." – Minea
"My support to this action and other actions of this type is unconditional. I do not agree with ways and motives of breeding animals, because it is cruel and inhumane. Fur is not apparel, animals are no apparel, but Croatia still is not on the European level of consciousness, therefore such protests are necessary. Luckily the majority of people in Croatia do not have money, since the problem is not in the designers and producers, but in the people who cannot resist fur as a status symbol. Public education is an essential part of such protests, because people should be acquainted with the consequences of their life-style." – Ivana Radovnikovic
On February 5, in the ITD Theater, the campaign "For Croatia without Fur" was also supported by EkS-scena through a benefit performance called "Creating Eve" by the co-author of the initiative OOUR. The performance was co-sponsored by the Student Center's "Kultura promjene," and the proceeds from ticket sale were donated to support the campaign.
As part of the Global Day of Action against Chinese Fur Industry, a protest in Zagreb took place on February 13 in front of the Chinese Embassy. This was just one of many protests against the killing of cats and dogs for fur that day. Animal Friends Croatia calls for the ban on import and sale of dog and cat fur to Croatia. After the ban on fur farming and the ban on import of seal skin and seal products, this would be another step towards building an ethically conscious Croatia without fur.
As a part of this campaign, on March 2 at noon, Animal Friends also went to Rijeka's "Korzo" shopping mall at the Republic of Croatia Square where they held a demonstration against killing animals for fur. Animal Friends' activists walked down the Korzo, dragging "blood-soaked" fur coats on chains and showing video images of animals on fur farms.
On March 15, Animal Friends joined the International Day of Action and held a protest in front of the Canadian Embassy in Zagreb, Gjure Dezelica 4, at 11 A.M. against the slaughter of seal pups for their fur. On this occasion the Croatian model Fani Stipkovic handed a protest note with an appeal to end the seal hunt to the Canadian Ambassador, Mr. Thomas Marr. Also, the Humane Society of the United States' documentary "Bearing Witness: Canada's 2005 Seal Hunt," which last year won a 'Panda' Award at the international wildlife and environmental Wild Screen Film Festival in the United Kingdom in the campaigns category, was shown for the first time in Croatia on this protest.
As part of the campaign, Animal Friends joined an international campaign against selling of fur in GUESS shops, sending an appeal on June 18 to GUESS shops in Zagreb and Rijeka, as well as GUESS Italia European HQ in Florence and GUESS, Inc. HQ in Los Angeles, USA.
As part of the international campaign, Animal Friends held on November 30 a peaceful protest in front of the Zagreb ESCADA store to urge the ESCADA management to completely withdraw real fur from its stores. The same day, the video projection "Cruelty by Design" was shown on King Tomislav Square, whilst the following day at the same location the info stall was set where citizens of Zagreb could get more information and printed materials.
Campaign ''For Croatia without Fur'' has continued in 2008 and 2009 as well…
You can also support the successful realization of this protest, as well as the campaign itself, with your donation that would cover the expenses on production of leaflets, banners and other supplies. For more information click here.
The "For Croatia without Fur" campaign is so far supported by:
- Marketing agency Bruketa&Zinic, Luka Novosel and IHC Medvescak Zagreb, Luka Nizetic, Fani Stipkovic, Viktor Drago, Lana Klingor, Ivana Radovnikovic, Ivana Kindl, Jelena Radan, Minea, Davor Masle and Hakuna Matata band, Maja Vucic, Meri Jaman, Anita Valo, Marija Strajh, and EkS-scena;
- Cro A Porter, Zale, M-Ros, Arto, Media, Europlakat, Vectordesign, Studio 2M, P.I.O., Lotusgraf, Adorea, Gjuro2, and The Regent Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, studio Firma za sve, National Foundation for Civil Society Development, Zagreb City Office for Agriculture and Forestry.