07/01/16 Prizoon Remains Prizoon?

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Animal Friends Croatia have urged the city of Split not to allow the imprisonment of domestic animals on the Marjan hill

-By replacing wild animals with domestic ones, Marjan will still be labelled as a prison for the innocent

After associations and citizens have been warning the public and the authorities about the terrible conditions in the Split Zoo for years, a decision on forbidding the acceptance of new animals and relocating the species which are not autochthonous has been adopted recently. That step was seen as the last opportunity to save animals and preserve the city's reputation, since the conditions in which animals are kept are appropriate neither for wild, nor for domestic species.

However, since the Committee has recently adopted a new decision on opening an educational centre on Marjan, with domestic animals situated in the forest park, Animal Friends Croatia have submitted a complaint to the city of Split. They argue that, by accepting such decision, the wellbeing of the animals will be jeopardized again, seeing that the only change would concern the type of animals in captivity. Thus, from now on there will be no wild prisoners on Marjan, but there will be the domestic ones instead. Animal Friends Croatia clearly state that opening such educational centre is a bad decision and emphasize that complaints about the way animals are treated refer to all animals, regardless of their species.

There is no excuse for imprisoning animals, and the entertainment of visitors is definitely not a justification for doing so. The only thing that visitors could learn from such a centre is that it is acceptable to keep animals in cages, where they are bored to the point of insanity, where they are lonely and live in a confined space, which can often cause them to act psychotically and self-destructively. Despite the alleged benefits of the availability of veterinary care and regular meals, the stress caused by imprisonment weakens the immune system of animals, which can cause illness or even death.

Keeping animals imprisoned, whether they are domestic or wild, should become history, and watching animals in cages for the sake of human entertainment should disappear, as it is a primitive habit that forces non-human beings to spend their lives in misery. The beautiful creatures that will form part of the educational centre should live in the open, and not in cages where they will be forced to spend their short and unnatural lives as artefacts for mass entertainment.

Animal Friends Croatia have urged the city of Split to act immediately, to encourage institutions for taking measures and to join them in finding solutions which will not lead to additional suffering of animals. They find it ironical that new animals are being imprisoned, while the burning issue of taking care of animals in the streets has not been resolved.

The above mentioned failure of local and regional authorities refers to the paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Article 56, paragraph 2 of the Article 57 and paragraphs 2 and 4 of the Article 58 of the Animal Protection Act, which lay down the authorities' obligation to build shelters and launch programmes necessary for their proper functioning, to fund the shelters, to cooperate with citizens, to educate them and raise awareness about the need to protect and improve animals' rights, taking into account and respecting the civilizational achievements of our legal order.

Bear in the Split ZOO

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