As reported widely on online media portals, citizens of Donji Vakuf in Bosnia have poisoned a large number of stray dogs in the last few days, actively violating the Animal Protection and Welfare law of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the worst possible way. The law unequivocally prohibits indiscriminate killing of abandoned animals and prescribes punishment for abandoning and torturing abandoned animals. The Criminal Code of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifically Article 318, defines torture and killing of animals as a criminal offense that carries a prison sentence of up to one year.
The perpetrator(s) of this crime are currently unknown. We have been told: “The local residents are systematically poisoning the dogs using various means that range from mixing crushed glass with their food, to using Demestos and various other toxins. Everyone is aware of what is happening and they are all keeping quiet.”
A video was taken of this dog during its last moments, after being poisoned (we do not know why the dog was not immediately taken to a vet):
The dogs were poisoned on city streets, in the doorways of buildings, in the city parks. The Veterinary Station of Donji Vakuf has confirmed that poison was used to kill the dogs, given the symptoms. The veterinary station stated that half the dogs killed had been sterilised in the local campaign.
“In this way, the perpetrator of this crime by poisoning dogs has broken the intentions of our institution and the Municipality of Donji Vakuf that control of the dog population is implemented through sterilization,” stated Addis Ždralović, Director of the Veterinary Station Donji Vakuf. This information has been confirmed by the authorities in the municipality of Donji Vakuf.
The first case of poisoned dogs was recorded on Sunday, March 01, just two days after Radio Donji Vakuf published information neutering of dogs in Donji Vakuf had begun, in cooperation with the Veterinary Station and Mayor of Donji Vakuf. We have also been notified that an owned dog was poisoned and died.
Residents have used this brutal and unlawful method to tackle a problem that will have consequences on the consciousness of younger generations, sending a message that breaking the law goes unpunished and that it is acceptable to torture and kill animals. The silence of the inspectors, veterinarians, and police, who do nothing to investigate these atrocities and punish the perpetrators is shocking.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina torture and killing animals is a common occurrence. In adults the offence is punishable by fine or imprisonment, however the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes very rarely occur.
You will find links to other reports of such crimes at the end of this blog.
FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP:
1. Please send emails and faxes to the officials involved in the Donji Vakuf municipality, letting them know you are aware of what is happening and that it contravenes the laws of the country. Please ask them to ensure this incident does not discourage further sterilisation programs, that they must engage the support of the local police and media in implementing these programs. Please ask them to investigate this crime and to ensure that the populace are informed about the animal welfare laws of the country and the humane procedures that can be successfully enforced to ensure control of stray dog populations, and that in fact killing animals is not a solution, on the contrary, the problem is further complicated because animals migrate and the territory of the killed dogs becomes occupied by other, less socialized individuals.
Nedžad Karahodžić (Komandir/Zapovjednik – police inspector)
Policijska stanica Donji Vakuf
Telephone-fax copy + 387 30-205-550
Inspectorate: Odsjek inspekcije Bugojno
Fax +387 30 251 051
Ivica Sivonjić – Assistant Chief, Travnic Municipality:
Phone and fax: + 387 (o) 30 511 791/ (0) 30 511 277 ext 214
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may use the following letter as a draft. Please personalise the letter, addressing the person you are sending it to, and signing it with your name:
We are aware of the recent illegal poisoning and killing of dogs in Donji Vakuf. We understand that citizens have even killed dogs who are already sterilised under a publicly funded campaign. We ask that you ensure the perpetrators of this vile act are brought to justice, and that the citizens of your municipality are educated regarding the effective and legal method of curbing the stray dog population: TNR (trap, neuter, release). We ask you to ensure the government authorities, the police, the local media and the veterinary inspectorate work together in implementing the BiH animal welfare laws and continue to implement sterilisation of stray dogs. Dog shelters are not the solution, as is evidenced throughout Bosnia Herzegovina whereby these ‘shelters’ become worse than concentration camps for dogs and are used to launder public money.
The animal welfare laws of Bosnia Herzegovina are good, applicable laws but the issue of the failure of the BiH authorities to apply even the barest minimum of the law to ensure the safety of the animals must be immediately addressed. We are sure you are aware of the numerous studies showing that those who are cruel to animals are likely to commit crimes against people. Furthermore, if you do not bring the perpetrators to justice, you send a message to the younger generations that breaking the law goes unpunished and that it is acceptable to torture and kill animals.
We urge you to implement internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray dog population control and management and allocate resources to ensure such principles are followed in an ongoing and systematic manner, which is the only viable solution to curbing stray dog and cat populations.
2. Email your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina, asking them to work with the Bosnian authorities to ensure that the animal welfare laws of the country are enforced, that the citizens are educated in studies showing there is a direct link between animal cruelty and cruelty to humans, and that the most effective means of stray animal population control is through consistently applied sterilisation programs. To find your embassy, go here: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina
3. Contact any international animal welfare organisations you know, asking them to send letters as per the instructions above.
4. In order to investigate these contraventions of the Animal Welfare Law, activists need support. If you can assist in funding legal investigations please donate as per the instructions below via Paypal to email@example.com, but make sure to mark your donation as ‘VAKUF’. Or you can donate to the YouCaring set up for Dalida Kozlic, animal activist and lawyer.
News reports (in Bosnian):
AVAZ.BA- UZNEMIRUJUĆE FOTOGRAFIJE Na ulicama Donjeg Vakufa otrovano 15-tak pasa lutalica!
radiodonjivakuf.com.ba - Do sada je iz grada odveženo 10 otrovanih pasa
Radiosarajevo.ba - Uznemirujuće fotografije: Otrovani psi na ulicama Donjeg Vakufa
blic-portal.com - GRAĐANI DONJEG VAKUFA UZELI ZAKON U SVOJE RUKE: Uznemirujuće fotografije likvidacije pasa lutalica
TNT.ba – Na ulicama Donjeg Vakufa otrovano 15-tak pasa lutalica!
Another Mass Killing of Dogs in Bosnia
Dogs Brutally Slaughtered in Bosnia HerzegovinaPuppy dies after horrific attack in Bosnia Herzegovina
Loved Street Dog Hanged in Gradiska, Bosnia!
Boy steals puppy and hangs it – Prnjavor, Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog’s Skull Deliberately Crushed in Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog Slaughter in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina
Yet another brutal dog murder in Bosnia Herzegovina
Another Dog Tortured by Wire in Bosnia
DOG TORTURED IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!
More than 40 killed dogs found in garbage dump
Poisoning of Dogs and Cats in Glamoc, Bosnia Herzegovina
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Mass Murder of Dogs in Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog Massacre in Dobosnica, Bosnia Herzegovina
Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia
Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia Herzegovina, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.
On our sister site, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: firstname.lastname@example.org . Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.
Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.
If you want your contribution to go to a specific dog or cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.
This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Go here to find out how to help them. Money is needed for food, medicine and foster housing. Even just one dollar or one euro will help.