The number of horses in Croatia in relation to Europe is small despite the economic potential of horse breeding, which is not insignificant, it was heard at an advisory session organised by the Croatian Agriculture Agency (HPA).

The head of the HPA's horse-breeding section, Franjo Poljak, underscored that Croatia was at the bottom of the ladder in the EU with regard to the number of horses per capita, with only 5.4 head per 1,000 population. The horse sector in the European Union is achieving a respectable annual value with 400,000 jobs, Poljak said.

There are 21,868 horses registered in Croatia and most of these are native breeds - the Croatian Coldblood (6,877), the Croatian Posavac (4,691), and the Lipizzaner (2,062). Last year their numbers increased dramatically - of warmbloods by 18.8%, coldbloods by 28% and of mixed breeds by 30.4% while the number of Croatian Posavac horses dropped by 4.2%.

Assistant Agriculture Minister Zdravko Barac said that recently activities tied to horse breeding had been on the increase. "The Agriculture Ministry is participating with a series of measures, as it realises the importance of the horse-breeding sector," Barac said.

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