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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Radomsko. Buried. Borysew. Krynica-Zdrój. Over 100 exotic animals are waiting to see what's next. In the background, an invoice for PLN 160,000

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Over a hundred exotic animals – parrots, monkeys, turtles – arrived at a private mini zoo in Borysewo a few months ago. They were taken away by the police from the illegal breeding farm while the investigation was ongoing. The state should pay for their stay. But neither the police nor the prosecutor's office want to cover invoices worth over PLN 160,000. It is also unknown whether the animals will be able to stay in their new home.

The case became famous in mid-September last year. The president of the Society for the Protection of Animals from the Krynica-Zdrój Branch, Sylwia Śliwa, contacted the police and the prosecutor's office, informing that animals may be kept in inappropriate conditions in the mini zoos in Radomsko and Zakopane. Śliwa applied to the services for an inspection and reported the possibility of committing a crime by the owner of the establishments. Police officers and a veterinarian arrived at the scene.

Lucie, the lemur who came to the Zoo in Borysewo, became a motherTVN24

Inspection at the mini zoo and animal transport stopped

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– In September 2023, we received information that on one of the properties in Radomsko, the entity running the so-called mini zoo may be improperly caring for the animals. On September 14, police officers and veterinarians checked the property. During the activities carried out, various species of animals were discovered that did not have any documentation confirming their origin and legality of stay in Poland – reminds the police spokesman in Radomsko, junior aspirant Dariusz Kaczmarek, in an interview with tvn24.pl. During the inspection, the police discovered that most of the animals from the mini zoo were being taken away. On the same day, on the A1 highway near Piotrków Trybunalski, they stopped two cars with cages containing animals. – Most of them were exotic animals. The police called a veterinarian to the scene, who stated that they could not be transported in this way. It was decided to transport them to a special facility that deals with the protection and breeding of animals. All activities were supervised by the District Prosecutor's Office in Radomsko – added the policeman. The animals were sent, among others, to a private zoo in Borysewo near Poddębice. And the police, under the supervision of the prosecutor's office, conducted proceedings against the owner. However, the 29-year-old died in a traffic accident in December and the proceedings were discontinued. And this is where things started to get complicated.

The animals live, among others, in the ZOO in BorysewoTVN24

The animals live, among others, in the ZOO in BorysewoTVN24

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“We did it out of good heart”

The zoo in Borysewo near Poddębice houses over a hundred animals seized from two illegally run farms in Radomsko and Zakopane. Single animals also found their way to Chorzów and Łódź. The animals arrived at Poddębice in two rounds: in September and November. – The animals have been staying with us for over half a year. In the meantime, we did all the tests, some of them were treated by a vet. We also arranged new rooms for them – Dariusz Pabich from the zoo in Borysewo tells us. It puts an end to speculations appearing in the public space that the animals are fully exposed and the zoo is supposed to make money from them. – We adopted these animals out of good heart to help them. It's not like we want the animals that come to us to stay with us because we get financial benefits from it – that's not the case. We also spent a lot of money on keeping and treating these animals, it was really tens of thousands of zlotys – let's remember that when they came to us, it was winter and we also had to heat the rooms where they stayed, and we have electric heating. If we were to add up the value of these animals and the amount we have spent on them so far, it is twice this value – emphasizes Pabich.

The animals were taken to the Zoo in BorysewoTVN24

The animals came to the ZOO in Borysewo from the mini ZOO in RadomskoTVN24

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Forfeiture of animals to the state treasury

It was known from the beginning that the animals were staying in Borysewo, Chorzów and Łódź temporarily and would probably have to find a “new home”. The decision was made before the court in Radomsko as to who would decide about their fate. – On March 6, the court issued a decision on the forfeiture of the animals to the state treasury. The decision has become final. In April, executive orders for this decision were issued and the court is obliged to implement it in two ways – due to the provisions of the Nature Protection Act, a copy of the decision was sent to the Ministry of Climate and Environment, and due to the provisions of the Animal Protection Act, to a social organization – in this case, the Society for the Protection of Animals. Nad Zwierzęta branch in Krynica-Zdrój, which took part in the preparatory proceedings for the implementation of this decision – said Izabela Woźniczko, vice-president of the District Court in Radomsko. This means that TOZ from Krynica-Zdrój will decide on the further fate of the animals. – This organization has statutory obligations that it must undertake after receiving this decision – that is, first of all, it must appoint veterinarians who will examine these animals, and then find appropriate places to place these animals – explained the vice-president of the court in Radomsko. The vice-president of the court also said that the animals could stay in their current places, but such a decision would have to be made by the organization designated to implement the court's decision – TOZ from Krynica-Zdrój.

District Court in RadomskoTVN24

“The procedure has been implemented”

Sylwia Śliwa, president of the Society for the Protection of Animals in Poland, branch in Krynica-Zdrój, confirmed in an interview with tvn24.pl that the first activities are being carried out after the court's decision. – On May 2, we received the court's decision to be implemented and the procedure was implemented, this is the first stage. Documents have been sent to veterinarians stating that we have to comply with a court decision and that we have taken possession of the animals, Śliwa told us. She added: – Where these animals will go and where they will be, there is still a long way to go. – Our keepers have become attached to these animals, they are doing well, they have become accustomed to living with us, to living in a group. Of course, we would like them to stay with us, but if the court or prosecutor's office decides otherwise, we will pass them on, but I would appeal for these to be places like ours and not to separate these animals since they already live in groups, because it will definitely affect their lives – appealed the director of the Zoo in Borysewo, Dariusz Pabich.

District Prosecutor's Office in RadomskoTVN24

Unpaid invoice for PLN 160,000

In the meantime, while the proceedings were ongoing, the Zoo in Borysewo issued an invoice to the prosecutor's office in Radomsko for the costs incurred so far in connection with the care of the animals. It amounts to PLN 160,000 gross. – This is an invoice for the first five months, for the maintenance of these animals, in accordance with the daily rate that the prosecutor's office knew about from the beginning. After a month we received a reply that we would not be paid. For now, we don't know whether we will appeal against this decision, the counter is still ticking because these animals are still with us – says Dariusz Pabich. The prosecutor's office in Radomsko does not dispute that the money is due to the facilities where animals stay, but emphasizes that it is not the company that should pay it. – The problem is not that the prosecutor's office does not want to pay this invoice, but the problem is whether these costs are to be borne by the prosecutor's office or the police. Since the preparatory proceedings in this case were conducted in the form of an investigation, it means that the host of these proceedings was or is the police, and therefore the costs associated with storing these animals should be borne by the police authorities, not the prosecutor's office – explains the head of the prosecutor's office in Radomsko, Gerard Staszczyk.

District Police Headquarters in RadomskoTVN24

The spokesman for the Radomsko police did not want to comment on the issue of payment of the invoice by the unit and referred us to the prosecutor's office. – During the first period of this investigation, invoices and bills related to the storage of these animals were paid by the police until the proceedings were discontinued. From that moment, for some reason, the entities that kept these animals started sending invoices and bills to the prosecutor's office – added prosecutor Gerard Staszczyk. The District Prosecutor's Office in Piotrków Trybunalski will now consider the invoice for the stay of one hundred animals in Borysewo. If she also decides that investigators should not pay her, the case will go to court

Author:Piotr Krysztofiak

Main photo source: TVN24

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