By Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH:
There is an increasing number of cases of animal abuse in countries of the south-eastern Balkans. Animal rights activists and organisations for the protection of animals are daily faced with cases of the worst forms of animal abuse. Some of these cases have been covered by the media, as it was the case of a dog called Mila whose all paws were cut off in Belgrade, four years ago. Mila was saved by activists. There were cases of putting firecrackers in the mouths of dogs in Sarajevo and Zagreb in 2011 and 2013; unfortunately both dogs had to be euthanized, because of the terrible injuries that had been sustained.
In Prijedor, 3rd May 2015, Bosnia Herzegovina, Alen Bahonjic killed Hasan Alic who was 74 years old. Alen Bahonjic used a hammer to kill Hasan Alic and the motive for this murder was greed. Alen Bahonjic was arrested. The Prosecutor’s office will issue an indictment. It is interesting that Alen Bahonjic has already committed criminal offences including a criminal offence of torturing and killing of animals. He killed two senior stray dogs in Prijedor in 2014. He was arrested because of the criminal offence but obviously the Bosnian legal system only reacted after he had killed a man. These cases present the cruel reality of the Bosnian legal system that has good legislation but lack of implementation.
Animal abuse can be a symptom of a personality disorder: the disorder of society as a whole.
The tendency to abuse, torture and kill animals is one of the most important symptoms of a psychopath / sociopath. Psychopaths or sociopaths are people without conscience, who enjoy abusing animals and humans. Those people usually behave and look like normal people.
Zoo sadism is the term for pleasure (psychological, physical or sexual) gained from abusing animals. Psychologists, forensic psychologists and psychiatrists consider that the reason behind someone abusing animals is childhood trauma, sexual and violent fantasies, different kinds of frustration and a desire for control over the helpless creature. However, the most important thing is that the goal of animal abuse is manipulation and a desire to inflict physical and psychological pain to a being that cannot defend itself. The abuser of animals has no conscience; he does not sympathize with other living beings. It is documented that many serial killers were animal abusers. People who abuse animals are aware that it is prohibited by law and punishable as a morally appalling act, but the desire to manipulate and to express their own complex via hurting helpless creature is so strong they can only keep repeating the sadistic acts.
Animal abusers are rarely mentally ill people, but animal abuse is a symptom of severe mental disorder. The mentally ill are rarely aware of the consequences of their actions, while the mentally disturbed are aware of their actions and their consequences. Animal abusers are psychopaths who intentionally know what they do and who are fully aware of their actions and the consequences, but do not empathize with other living beings. The most important thing for them is to be satisfied by expressing power and control over the helpless creature and thus find ease for their frustrations and / or complexes.
Animal abusers often seem like harmless people. Often they live a usual and normal life, yet animal abusers are five times more prone to commit violence against people, compared to the rest of the populace. Often trying sadistic methods leads to the harassment of people. Also, many killers of animals used animals to practice on, and then are able to effectively abuse and killing people.
Child animal abusers are potentially very dangerous people and usually exceed the performance of serious criminal offences.
Also research from the FBI, and the world’s other police and security agencies have shown that animal cruelty is one of the common factors that appear regularly in the computer records of serial rapists and murderers.
Professional literature for diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and emotional disorders lists cruelty to animals as a diagnostic criterion for the treatment of these disorders.
Lack of action by the society towards animal abuse and abusers indicates that the society is not ready to enter into its “dark spheres.” Specifically, in the western developed countries there are also cases of severe animal abuse, however, any such case is covered by the media and the general public is involved in finding the offenders, and the names of animal abusers and murderers are publicly disclosed. Also, the sanctions for offenders are rigorous and exercise a preventive and repressive function. Most importantly, the authorities are consistent in identifying and punishing animal abusers. Western society understands that animal abuse is a serious anomaly in the behaviour and psyche of man, and therefore many efforts are made to prevent animal abusers and killers.
Financing services for the protection of animals is not an expensive processs which can be financed only by economically developed countries. On the contrary, the construction and funding of animal shelters and services for the protection of animals is the cheapest and the most effective option to protect animals.
Bosnian society does not understand that animals are unable to fight for themselves and there is a complete lack of empathy for those who suffer. This means that this society as a whole has a pathological feature. What individuals and this society does not want to understand is that animal abusers are people with pathological personality features who tend to become abusers and killers of people (if not already). Prosecution and sanctioning of animal abusers are the basic functions of protecting animals. Special prevention sends a message to abusers that if they reoffend their offence against animals, they are to be arrested and punished. The general prevention message is sent to the society. The state and the judiciary do not tolerate animal abuse, and the problem is recognized as a deep social anomaly and that each abuser is to be punished. This is not happening in Bosnia Herzegovina.
News reports (in Bosnian):
Kozarac kod Prijedora: Bahonjić priznao da je Alića ubio čekićem i pokušao ga zapaliti
Puppy 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
Another Dog Tortured by Wire in Bosnia
DOG TORTURED IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia
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