MEPs Urge Agriculture Minister to Stop Illegal Captivity of Bears in Croatia

By 21 February 2020

ZAGREB, February 21, 2020 - Fifteen members of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals have appealed in a letter to Croatian Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković to ensure that Croatia implements the Animal Protection Act and puts an end to illegal captivity of brown bears.

The Croatian association Friends of Animals said on Friday that the Dutch MEP and chairwoman of the intergroup, Anja Hazekamp recalled in the letter to Minister Vučković that in October 2017 Croatia adopted the Animal Protection Act which bans holding and showing bears outside registered zoological parks and shelters, which included a transition period until 31 December 2018, warning however that bears continue to be illegally held in captivity in Croatia.

Two brown bears are still being held captive as a tourist attraction at the Macola restaurant in Korenica, on the road to the Adriatic coast, in a pound that is not registered either as a zoological park or as an animal shelter, which constitutes illegal captivity under the law and the relevant authorities have not ordered their confiscation.

In addition to the two bears in Korenica, another bear is being kept by a family in Rušćica.

The Croatian association supported the MEPs and called for the immediate relocation of the bears to be shelters.

The MEPs also warned of the need to protect other wildlife, including big cats.

More news about animals in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.