When asked who is a man's best friend – a book or a dog, actress Sofia Yurichin replies: “A dog, a living being, because dog love is unconditional,” and he quotes: “It's not hard to love a dog, it's hard to love him as much as he loves you.”
She and her colleague, actress Gorica Popovic, spoke at the Protest Against Killing and Abusing Animals “Fighting for Jackie” against the inhumane and illegal treatment of street animals on February 9 at Pioneer Park.
On the occasion, Juric said in an interview with Danas that it is a civic initiative of enthusiasts and people who love animals, who have been advocating against the abuse, killing of animals and illegal swine for years.
At her suggestion, the cast of the “People Tested” play, in which she herself plays, made a video in which the actors called for joining the fight against animal abuse.
– I joined the citizens' initiative because I was always an animal rights activist and on that occasion I made a series of requests for “Fighting for Jackie”. I grew up with dogs and cats and I have always been terribly touched by the inhumane treatment of animals – says Juric, adding that she was glad that it was not about any organization, because, according to her, we had the opportunity to see that some of the organizations have gone bad and got involved in other topics.
Juric points out that adults can understand a great deal while children and animals are unaware of what is happening to them and cannot explain to themselves why something is happening to them.
They simply find themselves in agony. According to her, this must be prevented by systematic law enforcement, but on the other hand, it is very difficult to track down the abusers, come up with their names, obtain valid evidence against those who do so, and find out why they do it, Juric says and notes that when you want to discover something you have to follow the path of money.
– It is contradictory that in Serbia we have one of the best Animal Protection Laws in Europe, but the problem is that we do not enforce it – she concludes and explains that no fines are imposed on those who harm animals. Then, people throw dogs and cats out into the street, do not chip them, while at the same time there are locally grown scrubs that are illegal and very cruel. Jurican explains that there are notorious vans into which animals are thrown and killed on the street, whether they are sick or healthy, which is illegal, as the law states that euthanasia should not be performed unless the animal is sick.
– We are a small country with many problems. It is scary to me when someone says “you are fighting for the rights of animals, and there are so many women, children …” and one does not exclude the other. That's one terrible thesis replacement. Animals need to be fought the same as endangered and discriminated against people. All kinds of discrimination should be combated – she said, adding that she was part of various types of struggles: for the sick, for children, for the prevention of HIV … for the rights of the vulnerable.
– That kind of justification is the scariest thing for me – that you can't fight for animal rights because people are endangered as well. Well, we fight for them too, but someone has to raise their voice for the animals too. I guess we have made so much civilizational progress that we do not kill innocent creatures or abuse them, because they have done no harm to us, but on the contrary, they depend only on us, just like children – says Juric.
The video message from the cast of “Tested on People” was supported by colleagues from other theaters because, as Juric said, many of them also have pets. She points out that this is only the beginning and that they intend to continue to fight. The plan is to record a video that will bring together more public figures and present requests as well as opinions on the problem of inhumane treatment of abandoned and street animals to exert some kind of pressure.
– If as a public figure we have the opportunity to raise our voice, I will do our best to get people from theater, film, television, to gather and shoot a joint video and to speak about this problem – said actress Sofia Yurian.
Requests Jurican addressed to the public
“We demand that the Ministry of Interior prioritize and urgently take all actions within its jurisdiction to detect the perpetrators of crimes by throwing poison on public lands and private property and poisoning abandoned and proprietary dogs and cats, while endangering the lives of citizens, especially children. Let the public prosecutor's offices understand that killing and abusing animals is an ex officio criminal offense, and that they prosecute numerous perpetrators of this crime and act on criminal reports filed by citizens to punish the perpetrators. We demand that veterinary inspectors finally begin to enforce laws and regulations and act on numerous citizen applications. To prohibit the operation of all shinto services in Serbia that violate the Animal Welfare Act and the Veterinary Act. Immediately prohibit the killing of dogs in the shelters of local self-government units where they are killed in spite of the legal prohibition, falsifying data on dogs, declaring them terminally ill and aggressive even though they are not, keeping them in inhumane conditions in which they kill each other or die because of illness and hunger. That those responsible for killing and abusing animals in shelters are punished in accordance with the law. “