Controversial Official Suspends Veterinary Inspections in Easter Period

By 5 March 2018

For an Agriculture Ministry official, holidays seem to be more important than food safety.

Damir Agičić is an Assistant Minister of Agriculture for Veterinary and Food Safety. From the official e-mail address of the Ministry of Agriculture, accompanied by the official signature and letterhead of the Ministry, he has sent instructions to veterinary inspectors in which he ordered them not to plan any inspections for the last week of March, reports on March 5, 2018.

According to Agičić, the reason for this unusual move is the Holy Week (the week before Easter).

The e-mail, which has been published by the media, states that “a lot of our clients experience the Easter period in a special way.” The assistant minister instructs his inspectors that “their subjects will have an increased scope of activities and it would not be appropriate for inspectors to show up conducting controls.”

Agičić stresses the need to “respect the privacy of clients, their business customs and life habits.” He further adds that, during this period, “we should not take over the role of overly zealous inspectors when it is not appropriate.” He warns them that “it is not appropriate to execute supervision of facilities at a time when friends and business partners traditionally receive presents,” since some might say that “they are coming to facilities to receive inappropriate gifts.”

Still, the assistant minister allows inspections to be carried out even during the Holy Week, provided there is something “which is urgent, perhaps a contagious disease.”

At the end of his letter, Agičić writes that he does not expect “the letter to be forwarded to subordinates,” but rather that the work should be organised in the described manner by supervisors.

Agičić has refused to comment on his letter, referring all questions to the ministry’s spokesperson.

The ministry has issued an official statement condemning the assistant minister’s decision. “The behaviour which you are referring to is completely unacceptable to the Ministry of Agriculture and will, therefore, be sanctioned. Increased sales of food products on the eve of holidays should be accompanied by intensified inspections of market participants which place food on the market. That is what happened ahead of Christmas, and the same will happen for Easter.”

Interestingly, this is not Agičić’s first scandal. He is well known for spreading religious hatred on social networks. Although as an assistant minister he occasionally represents Croatia in the European Union bodies, Agičić has accused “the West” for being “non-Christian, tolerant and ungodly.” He was reportedly upset when he saw that money for animals was being collected at the Brussels airport. “I pity all agnostics, atheists, Protestants and all those to whom the Holy Spirit has not given the grace to be able to surrender to the Lord in the adoration fully,” the assistant minister wrote.

“It is well-known that atheists are arrogant people, worthy of pity. And they are not just arrogant, but also stupid,” wrote Agičić in one of his many outbursts.

After the media reported on his posts, he deleted them from Facebook.

Translated from