As you know, the Romanian Parliament has ruled that all stray dogs will be killed if, after fourteen days, they remain unadopted. The authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina will use this as an example to enforce the same law and make it legal to kill all stray dogs. In fact, it’s already happening in Bosnia in spite of existing animal welfare laws!
And unlike in Romania, there are no celebrities or high profile activists telling the world about it!
The existing Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia-Herzegovina is in fact a good and enforcable law. The only reason the law is not being enforced is because certain political and professional circles do not want to do it.
The law makes euthanising stray dogs illegal, – except a) when the animal cannot be cured and keeping it alive would only cause unnecessary pain and further suffering; b) the animal has reached such an old age, its vital bodily functions are terminating; c) the animal suffers from an incurable and/or infectious disease, or such a disease can represent a threat to humans; d) the animal is dangerous; e) the animal is in agony.
(The truth is, dogs are ‘euthanised’ randomly and seriously disregarding the above laws).
In addition, the Animal Protection and Welfare Act states that every city and town has to build shelters for stray animals. All shelters for stray animals have to provide a NO KILL policy (see below for what is really happening in these so-called shelters…)
The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina wants to change this Animal Protection and Welfare Act to make euthanasia legal in all shelters. Euthanasia would be performed within 15 days from a stray dog’s arrival in a shelter.
This is exactly what is happening in Romania, and if the law is changed, it will be used as an excuse to simply kill all the strays instead of implementing a humane stray animal management programe. The next session of the BH Parliament will be held on October 3rd 2013, and we need to do everything we can to ensure they do not change the law!
Please be aware that while ‘euthanasia’ may seem to be a logical way of dealing with an increasing and endemic stray dog population, this is a costly way to kill dogs and generally other, brutal, methods are used. Please read Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation. Also note that “Catch & kill” or “catch & incarcerate” policies have failed in numerous other countries. Cities that have successfully managed and curbed their stray animal population were those that opted for a “catch & return” policy.
Please sign the petition: BOSNIA! IMPLEMENT HUMANE STRAY-DOG AND CAT POPULATION CONTROL AND TREATMENT
If you want to know how things are done in Bosnia, please read the following piece recently published on Facebook by Jelena Paunović, animal welfare activist and journalist:
“DOGS ARE GUILTY OF EVERYTHING! LET‘S KILL THEM ALL!
According to my experience related to the care of abandoned animals, this is how the problem of abandoned dogs in Bosnia is being solved, in contravention of all laws and regulations:
1. You load dogs into a van, using the method “as many as you can cram in”, and you throw them out in a hunting ground and inform the local hunters’ association about the “problem”. After the animal activists come, authorised persons suddenly become “unauthorised”: when activists find out about killing dogs, people, who are responsible for this and who are authorised to prevent and punish those who kill dogs, pretend that they are not in charge of investigating actions such as killing dogs.
2. As a “competent person” you make some sort of an agreement with the local mayor, and since you do not feel like stepping out of the car, you simply open fire on the dogs in the settlement from the car. It is desirable for the car to be moving and that there are children nearby, of course.
After the activists come, once again the authorised persons become unauthorised…
3. As a local “boss“, and if possible, a criminal with a piece of land, you make an agreement with the Mayor, the police and the veterinary inspection and you open a “shelter” for lost and abandoned animals. The Veterinary Office says “Bravo“! You are implementing the Animal Welfare and Protection Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” (In principle, this is correct, but…) And then, you take them for a lamb lunch in local restaurant, and there you sign the agreements and fulfil conditions for the “implementation” of the Law.
Shelters function in the following manner:
a) First, registration is not necessary because, “Why should I care, f… dogs”.
b) Then you inform the media of your activities. The mayor says: “Our team of dog catchers is made of highly trained people. Now citizens will be free and fearless to walk through settlements which, until we had this brilliant idea, had been filled with stray dogs, and, by the way, vote for me in the next elections.
c) The “highly trained professionals” start catching dogs and placing them in the asylum. The Director and the Mayor talk regularly and have business meetings, over beer and roast lamb, in case there should be something else that needs signing. Everything has to be according to the LAW, right?
d) The dogs from the shelter are killed using various methods: hitting them with a hammer on the head, putting poison in their food, and every now and again euthanizing them. If an activist comes and asks what is going on, a veterinarian appears from nowhere saying that the missing dogs “have been humanely euthanized since they were old and sick”. If the veterinarian is really very forthcoming, you will be presented with papers signed in one of the aforementioned “business” meetings.
e) “Fools dealing with dogs” (activists) visit the shelter, and after visit they publish photographs and video clips. After they have published these photographs and video clips, they are banned from entering the shelters.
f) Dogs die of hunger, illness, thirst. Great amounts of dog food are registered in the accounts as being bought for the shelter. The dogs don’t see any of it.
g) Dogs breed in the shelters.. and yet the veterinarian registers castration and sterilization. The veterinarian also registers vaccines and tablets against parasites. The veterinarian registers treatments. The dogs continue to breed, become full of parasites, wounds are left untreated.
h) Most municipalities have published reports on the consumption of budget assets from, let us say, 2006. There is not any a trace of money.
i) “Experts are searching for homes” for the dogs, but it is impossible to find the shelter in its godforsaken location. Almost nobody from the local community knows that there is a shelter there, and when you finally find it, they tell you that 100 people come to them in a month and adopt dogs.
j) During foreigners’ visits to the shelter, they present the papers. Then the foreigners tell activists they are fools. The media take statements from the Director, Mayor and foreigners. And therefore, professional reporters, using proper sources of information, inform the ignorant people of a great Mayor and his even greater buddies.
k) Activists do nothing.
l) Dogs are being killed and die in suffering.
m) Activists do nothing.
(This last point has no end. It has been repeating for years.)
1. As a local “boss“ and the Mayor of some small municipality, or as the people call it “in the middle of nowhere”, you take a few hundred from the budget and call local service providers, who see themselves as a hygiene service, to immediately kill dogs found in the territory of the municipality. Then the media reports on poisoning of dogs. The mayor puts in the book “care of dogs in the shelter”. Later, activists come and the authorised persons become unauthorised.
Then the activists come, and the authorised persons become unauthorised…
2. “Endangered“ citizens and their offspring torture and kill abandoned dogs every day. “Poor” children are unprotected from “aggressive” dogs, various parents councils talk about this everywhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “good” boys and girls rape dogs with umbrellas, put firecrackers in their mouths, stick screws in cats’ eyes just to see what will happen…
Then the activists have come, and the authorised persons become unauthorised.
The mayor, veterinarian and the police have eaten so much roast lamb, they are still digesting it.
3. The media contacts Mayors, veterinarians, parents, shelters, ambulance service…
4. Everything is done professionally and in accordance with the Animal Welfare and Protection Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The lesson therefore is: DOGS ARE GUILTY OF EVERYTHING! LET’S KILL THEM ALL!”
Relevant articles from this blog:
BOSNIA! IMPLEMENT HUMANE STRAY-DOG AND CAT POPULATION CONTROL AND TREATMENT
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend PART TWO
Mass Graves Found Near Dog “Shelter”
Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues and to help us keep safe the rescued dogs we are sponsoring but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.
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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.