Croatian animal rights activists released on Monday a list of 45 high-profile cases of animal torture and killings in 2018, calling for the government to form an animal protection inspectorate and adopt a comprehensive animal protection law.
The non-governmental organisation Animal Friends Croatia said that although misdemeanour and criminal offences reported against animals in 2018 had not increased in frequency compared to previous years, such cases were more publicised, leading to more awareness in the general public of the need to prevent and punish such acts of cruelty.
"In addition to cases of sadistic abuse, animals often suffer or die due to irresponsible treatment, and many are killed in attempts to get rid of unwanted newborns, by drowning, suffocating, burying them alive, and other brutal methods," said Ivana Lunka of Animal Friends Croatia.
She added that the only way to reduce the frequency of animal abuse would be an animal protection law.
"Even though the proscribed fines for animal abuse are up to 80,000 kuna (€10,800), fines actually dished out to animal abusers are still low. Although the criminal code sets jail terms of up to one year for abusers of animals, most cases end with only conditional sentences for perpetrators," the group said.