Save Hvar's Cats!

Published in Animals

Eco Hvar has come up with a possible solution to the problem of cat killings. Seeing cats tortured to death by poison or other methods is a tragedy for animal-lovers on Hvar Island, and indeed all round Croatia. The law to protect animals from harm exists, but does not function efficiently.

Chum, Gingie the Princess with their kitten, Pitve 2007. Chum, Gingie the Princess with their kitten, Pitve 2007. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

We have set up a Change.org petition in English to garner support for our initiative. Our recomendations, together with the results of the petition, will be presented to the four local authorities on Hvar when the new local governments have been formed following the elections on May 15th 2021. We hope the suggestions will be implemented successfully, and, if so, will be a blueprint for other parts of Croatia.

Note: the three much-loved cats in the lead picture died by poison in Pitve in 2008, but their spirit lives on!

PLEASE HELP BY SIGNING THE PETITION.

Recommendations for a peaceful solution to the problem of cat poisonings on Hvar

Introduction: The image of a tourist destination depends on many factors. One of them is the attitude of local people towards animals. For over a year a group of people in Hvar Town has been mercilessly poisoning cats, causing immeasurable harm to the town's image: in the summer of 2020, guests left because of the horrifying sight of cat corpses floating in the sea by the bathing beaches. Sadly, cat poisonings also happen in other places on Hvar Island.

Why save the cats? Image is not the only or even the main reason for trying to find a way to put a stop to the cat killings. Cats are very useful creatures: they hunt mice, rats, snakes and other potentially harmful pests. Given the right conditions, they are independent and clean. We accept that not everyone is an animal-lover. Despite differences of opinion, we have to live together in peace within our society. For this, each of us has to respect society's laws: Article 205 of Croatia's Criminal Law (Kazneni zakon, NN125/2011) states that the killing and maltreatment of animals are illegal punishable acts.

In a rational law-abiding society it is not acceptable for owners to suffer because of the violent loss of their pets; nor for guests, especially children, to be faced with the horrifying sight of animals in torment; nor for renters to lose their clients because of other people's illegal actions; nor for the police, local authorities and individuals to have to spend their time, nerves and resources trying to prevent killings, and to gather the evidence needed to prosecute the suspected killers.

Why do people kill cats? Some people simply hate cats and other animals, often without a specific reason. Others have no patience to tolerate certain habits among wild, homeless cats, specifically uncontrolled breeding; the noise created by males fighting over the females; and the smell of their faeces.

The Project to Save the Cats

The main priorities:

1. The sterilization programme. This programme already functions on Hvar and is succeeding in gradually bringing down the number of homeless cats. (Sadly, some of the cats poisoned in Hvar Town during the last year were sterilized, making the trouble taken over the sterilizations a meaningless waste of resources.)

2. Set up feeding stations at different convenient points in each locality, alongside toilet facilities (sand or soil, in a litter tray if there is no natural alternative).

3. Provide incentives for firms and individuals who participate in the project.

4. Create an educational campaign for young people and adults, emphasizing how and why cats can be looked after for the benefit of all.

5. Publish warnings through posters and media announcements that the local authorities will participate in actions to bring suspects to justice when they break the law and kill the cats.

6. Establish a slogan / logo for the project (In English, on the lines of 'Hvar cares for cats', or whatever seems suitable)

How Will the Project Function?

1. The sterilization programme will continue. At the beginning of the project an increase in numbers might be expected, as it will be easier to catch the street cats.

2. The local authorities will choose the places for the cat feeding stations, and will be responsible for keeping them clean, with the help of animal-caring Associations and individuals.

3. Finance will be raised primarily through donations and sponsorship. For instance, monetary donations will be handled through the local authority accounts, and/or special accounts of the Animal Associations; firms, especially shops, will be encouraged to donate cat food; shops can place boxes by the check-outs for customers to leave gifts of dry or tinned cat-food.

4. Everyone interested in promoting their island in the most positive way will be able to participate in the project, including hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, tourist agencies etc., besides individuals. Everyone who has contributed to the project should be given a special certificate for the given year, for instance when the local authorities celebrate their Annual feast day.

5. The educational campaign could be through workshops or volunteer work with the street cats.

6. Local authorities will advertise the project on public noticeboards and via the internet on their websites and Facebook pages.

7. The slogan / logo could be the subject of a competition in local schools.

8. There will be a steering committee for each place to co-ordinate activities, led by the local authority.

1st May 2021.

You are here: Home animal articles Save Hvar's Cats!

Eco Environment News feeds

  • More than 200 barriers were taken down last year, helping to restore fish migration routes and boost biodiversity and climate resilience

    At least 239 barriers, including dams and weirs, were removed across 17 countries in Europe in 2021, in a record-breaking year for dam removals across the continent.

    Spain led the way, with 108 structures taken out of the country’s rivers. “Our efforts to expand dam removals across Europe are gathering speed,” said Pao Fernández Garrido, project manager for the World Fish Migration Foundation, who helped produce Dam Removal Europe’s annual report.

    Continue reading...

  • Analysis: Highs likely to reach mid-30s celsius in Spain and France, 10C above normal, and may break 40C

    The exceptional heatwave conditions across parts of India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have been in the news – although the region has in fact endured extreme heat since March. Through the next few days, although nowhere near as extreme as in India and Pakistan, anomalous warmth will be affecting large portions of western Europe in the first significant heat of spring.

    Throughout April, large parts of Europe experienced below-normal temperature trends, with winds often emanating from a north-easterly direction. However, over the past week or so, weather patterns have rearranged to encourage more of a south or south-westerly feed of air across Europe, and temperatures have been picking up as a result.

    Continue reading...

  • Friends of the Earth says there will be no market for Whitehaven coal as Europe’s steelmakers move to ‘green steel’

    A new coalmine proposed for Cumbria is likely to be redundant before it even opens because the steelmakers that are its target market are moving so rapidly away from fossil fuels, analysis from green campaigners claims.

    Steelmakers across Europe are moving to “green steel”, which uses renewable energy and modern techniques to avoid the need for coking coal of the type that the proposed mine in Whitehaven would produce.

    Continue reading...

  • Duisky, Scottish Highlands: The process of harvesting the mussels we eat starts with a morning boat ride on a milky loch

    While most other crofters are minding their fields for lambs, we are watching the water. Loch Eil reflects the soft grey clouds rolling down the corries, but closer inspection reveals milky drifts below its surface. The mussels are spawning.

    Mytilus edulis release sperm and eggs into the water, making a swimming soup of fertilisation that births billions of mussel larvae. These infinitesimal shellfish float freely with the current and tide.

    Continue reading...

  • Simon Fairlie responds to George Monbiot’s article on farming and sustainable food production

    George Monbiot (On a vegan planet Britain could feed 200 million people, 13 May) quotes me as calculating that “while a diet containing a moderate amount of meat, dairy and eggs would require the use of 11m hectares of land (4m of which would be arable), a vegan diet would demand a total of just 3m”.

    He doesn’t point out that these figures relate to chemical agriculture using artificial fertilisers and pesticides – practices that he later says he doesn’t support. I also made estimates for organic vegan agriculture with green manure being ploughed directly into the soil, and for organic husbandry in which green manure is fed to dairy cows whose manure is composted, while pigs and chickens are substantially fed on food waste. Both systems require about 6.5m hectares of arable land to provide a healthy diet for everyone in the country. The vegan system is slightly more efficient in its land use, while the livestock system provides a more varied diet.

    Continue reading...

  • Ministers instead urged to focus on reducing flights and halting airport expansion to cut carbon emissions

    The UK government’s “jet zero” plan to eliminate carbon emissions from aviation relies on unproven or nonexistent technology and “sustainable” fuel, and is likely to result in ministers missing their legally binding emissions targets, according to a report.

    The study from Element Energy, which has worked for the government and the climate change committee in the past, says instead of focusing on such unreliable future developments, ministers should work to reduce the overall number of flights and halt airport expansion over the next few years.

    Continue reading...

  • Alok Sharma says global crises should increase, not diminish, nations’ determination to cut greenhouse gases made in Glasgow climate pact

    Failure to act on the promises made at the Glasgow Cop26 climate summit last year would be “an act of monstrous self-harm”, the UK’s president of the conference will warn today in Glasgow.

    Alok Sharma, the cabinet minister who led the UK-hosted summit that ended with agreement to limit global heating to 1.5C, will say that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and rising energy and food prices, have changed the global outlook drastically in the six months since.

    Continue reading...

  • EU concern over ‘cruel’ practice of taking blood from mares to create hormone products that increase reproduction in farmed animals

    Iceland is under pressure to ban the production of a hormone extracted from pregnant horses, a practice that has been described as “cruel” and “animal abuse”.

    The hormone is used by farmers across the UK and Europe to increase reproduction in pigs, cows and other female farm animals.

    Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin (PMSG) is extracted from pregnant horses in Iceland during the summer at “blood farms”, before being converted into powder and shipped around the world.

    Continue reading...

  • Fatih Birol says ‘carbon bombs’, revealed in Guardian investigation, will not solve global energy crisis

    The world’s leading energy economist has warned against investing in large new oil and gas developments, which would have little impact on the current energy crisis and soaring fuel prices but spell devastation to the planet.

    Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), was responding to an investigation in the Guardian that revealed fossil fuel companies were planning huge “carbon bomb” projects that would drive climate catastrophe.

    Continue reading...

  • As awareness grows of the environmental impact of the cut-flower industry, new growers are selling sustainable blooms straight from their fields

    Close to the River Teme, in the shadow of the Malvern Hills, with three farm cats playing around our feet, Meg Edmonds is showing me around an old barn that she uses to store, arrange and wrap her flowers. It is busy with colour and life. There are tulips of every shade in crates, narcissi and ranunculi in buckets and vases. There are pots of snakeshead fritillary just outside the door, and a vase of blue and white anemones by the window, in water, so that Edmonds can make a note of how many times they open and close in the sun before they’re over. “I want to be able to tell people that information,” she says. They’re currently on number four. She pulls out a huge green stem that looks as if it has been ripped out of Jurassic Park. It turns out to be from an artichoke plant. There are dried artichokes elsewhere, their fluffy innards bursting out, to be used in dried arrangements over winter. We walk around the farm. Edmonds points out shrubs and trees that have ended up in her work, from a sumptuous trailing rosemary bush to the flowering branches of a crab apple tree.

    Everything here is useful. It has also been grown within walking distance, either on the family farm, or on a patch of land next to the farm shop, at the other end of the village, where Edmonds’s flowers sell in big, beautiful bunches. Edmonds and her husband farm livestock and vegetables on his family farm (they are third generation), and converted to organic practices 20 years ago. After moving away from selling the farm’s livestock to supermarkets, in favour of selling in their own farm shop, she started to think that there might be a way of doing the same for flowers. “I didn’t realise that there was this burgeoning market for local seasonal, mixed, beautiful things, like I had in my garden and like my friends raved over,” she says.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds