Around Slovakia

Three puppies found in trash container, one dead
Road help in danger
Second case of mad cow disease this year
Principal's trick helps find pupil who made bomb threat
Spa guest freezes to death
Officer suspected of forcing oral sex

Three puppies found in trash container, one dead

THREE puppies were found in a trash container wrapped in a rag and a plastic bag; one of them was dead.
The woman who found the puppies reported the case to local animal rights organisation Animal Freedom.
Peter Belica from Animal Freedom told the daily Nový Čas, "They are a few days old and they are mongrels. Because they are mongrels, they are not easy [animals] to sell, and that is probably why someone wanted to get rid of them in this inhumane way."
The puppies were immediately treated and housed in one of Animal Freedom's shelters in Bratislava's Polianky area.
"A colleague of mine has offered to take the puppies home so that they don't have to stay in the shelter," he said.

THE FUTURE of Slovakia's road rescue teams the Yellow Angels is in doubt as funding dries up.
photo: TASR

Road help in danger

THE YELLOW Angels, Slovakia's road rescue teams that have helped stranded drivers for 40 years, are saying they have no money to continue providing their services to the public, and that unless the state releases funds they will be forced to shut down their operation by summer.
The National Automotive Club (NAK), which runs the Yellow Angels, said that due to changes in the distribution of compulsory car-insurance funds, they have stopped receiving money for their operation.
A new law on road insurance that mandates drivers pay on an annual basis "does not enable us to distribute the funds to organisations other than fire brigades and [state-run] ambulance services," said deputy interior minister Martin Pado.
Jozef Studenič, the president of NAK, argued there were strong reasons in favour of saving the Yellow Angels. He also said the elimination of this smooth-functioning road help system would leave a big gap once Slovakia enters the EU.
"It will be necessary to take care of incoming [EU] tourists just like we do local drivers," Studenič said.
He said the Yellow Angels last year assisted in 60,000 roadside incidents.
"If we don't receive some money for our operation, by June it will be over," he said.

Žiar nad Hronom
Second case of mad cow disease this year

THE STATE Veterinary Institute (SVÚ) in Zvolen reported the second positive case of mad cow disease in Slovakia this year.
On April 11 the State Veterinary and Food Administration (SVPS) said that a 93-month-old cow from a Horná Ždaňa farm near Žiar nad Hronom in the Banská Bystrica region had tested positive for mad cow disease, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
The brain tissue sampled by the SVÚ from the cow, which was slaughtered at the Horná Ždaňa farm, will be sent for confirmation of BSE to the Neuroimmunological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) in Bratislava.
Not only is this the second positive case of BSE in Slovakia this year, it is also the second case of the disease for the Horná Ždaňa farm, which had its first positive BSE result in September 2001. European Commission inspectors from the Dublin Veterinary Institute subsequently tested 32 heads of cattle slaughtered there, which all tested negative for BSE.
As part of the country's BSE monitoring programme, veterinarians have examined 18,909 heads of cattle in the first three months of this year. The first positive case of BSE in 2003 was registered by the SVPS and confirmed by the SAV in Bratislava on a cow from a farm in Nová Baňa, also in the Banská Bystrica region.

Liptovský Hrádok
Principal's trick helps find pupil who made bomb threat

A PRINCIPAL at an elementary school where lessons recently had to be cancelled due to a bomb threat said students had to come to school on Saturday to make up for the missed day of school.
Oľga Knutková, the principal at Liptovský Hrádok's elementary school, later said she had hoped that the conscience of the perpetrator would force the student who made the bomb threat to admit to his deed.
"I counted on the fact that it is hard [on the students] to suffer a wrong and that in the end [the perpetrator] would admit to it," Knutková told the Slovak daily Pravda.
The trick worked and by the end of the week the circle of suspects had been narrowed to a couple of students. By April 11 police already knew the identity of the guilty pupil.
School on Saturday April 12 was cancelled.

A MAN was found frozen to death in the eastern Slovak spa town of Bardejovské kúpele.
photo: Ján Svrček

Spa guest freezes to death

A CURE in the eastern Slovak spa town of Bardejovské kúpele ended fatally for a Czech patient who fell to the ground while returning intoxicated from a local pub. The next morning he was found frozen to death.
The 58-year-old Czech, whose name has been withheld by the police, had apparently got drunk with one of his friends at a local bar. His companion told the police that he had left the bar earlier than his friend and had returned to the Lívia Hostel where they had been staying.
However, some spa guests confirmed that the two men were making noise late into the night prior to the morning the Czech was found dead.
The dead man's face was said to have been covered with scratches. Police are investigating the case.

Officer suspected of forcing oral sex

THE POLICE are investigating a case in which a Košice police officer is suspected of forcing a woman to perform oral sex on him.
The officer, not named, was responsible for investigating several thefts from cottages at a weekend resort near Košice. An 18-year-old woman was the main suspect.
According to statements from the woman, she and her boyfriend were caught in the attic of a couple's house by a police officer. The officer proposed to her that if she performed oral sex on him, he would make sure her case was dropped.
The woman allegedly agreed to the proposal and later reported the incident to the police. Police are currently analysing biological samples collected at the woman's house to see if they match the officer.
The officer is charged with misuse of power and with blackmail.

Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports

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