Unimaginable cases of torture and killing of stray animals in Bosnia

WARNING! VERY GRAPHIC CONTENT

Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer and activist writes:

Increasing hatred towards stray animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be shown by the latest cases of vicious torturing and killing of stray animals. Rescuers and animal advocates in different towns and cities of the country are facing an endemic of cruelty towards animals that is getting worse.

Sometimes the most dreadful crimes happen in ordinary places, and it seems that it is becoming a practice in Bosnia. Rescuers in the capital city Sarajevo are right now trying to deal with a brutal and horrific situation. In the past few days, many dogs have been poisoned by an unknown person or persons, mainly in a notorious part of Novi Grad municipality, Dobrinja.

Poisoned dogs are being found in isolated areas as well as on the streets of Dobrinja and other parts of Sarajevo. Traces of poison for mice and snails have been found on the streets and this implies that this is a well prepared and organised criminal offence that is probably committed by a group of people. The poison is highly toxic and animals die within few hours, while veterinarians are trying to find a solution to help animals that are in agony.

Most of the poisoned stray dogs have died, as have a few pets that ate poison hidden in meat. Also, rescuers have found bodies of poisoned cats which is unusual given that cats are cautious animals. They have probably eaten poisoned meat.

The latest case happened in Sarajevo area called Aneks, where one dog was poisoned this morning.

Citizens as well as rescuers are very upset, particularly because the police and the inspection are still silent.

Please see the news report on Radio Sarajevo “Dobrinja / Građani uznemireni: Brojni ulični psi otrovani u Sarajevo” (“Citizens upset: Many street dogs poisoned in Sarajevo”)

Unfortunately, the cruelty of people doesn’t end in Sarajevo.

Hunters in the municipality of Kneževo near Banja Luka killed dozens of stray dogs as well as pets a few days ago. Bodies of shot, abused and killed dogs were found in the forests near Kneževo four days ago. Wounds from gunshot could be seen on the corpses.

Hunters are notorious and illegal executors of stray animals in Bosnia, and this blog has documented a number of killings of dogs by hunters.

Many hunting organisations ignore the law and still kill stray dogs in villages as well as rural areas in Bosnia even when those dogs are not causing harm to wild animals, and despite the fact that hunters are criminally responsible for such actions.

News article on Prnjavorski.net:  “Lovci pobili pse lutalice” (“Hunters kill stray dogs”)

And, rescuers are once more facing an awful new case of torturing of animals in Zenica.

One of the most brutal cases of killing of an animal that I have ever seen as a lawyer and a rescuer has happened in this town. Rescuers of SAPA Zenica found the body of a stray dog few days ago. The brutality of this crime is appalling. The dog was beaten and all her paws were cut off.

Such brutality is extremely worrying and it is devastating to see what someone can do to an animal that cannot defend herself.

I am not good at expressing emotions but as I am writing a new post for this blog I feel that I must express how I feel about these recent atrocities in Bosnia. I believe that every rescuer not only in Bosnia feels the same.
When I was a child, there was a war here in Bosnia. All of us learnt that death was something that could be seen every minute of our lives. I remember how my parents were taking animals to the basement of the house where they placed during the war. After the war, we hoped that it would be better for people as well as for animals. We were wrong.

Why am I mentioning the war? It was a period when everyone including me “met” death for the first time, but it wasn’t an “ordinary” death, it was a death that was a consequence of horrific and cruel events and torture. Some people say that Bosnia is a cursed country, that the land is full of blood and the cruel character of Balkan people will never change.

This sounds like a horror movie, but despite this I am afraid that it is a true. I am the person who only talks about facts, and the fact is that I am writing an article about three cases on unimaginable torture of stray animals in Bosnia. I am writing about animals that are victims of vicious persons, psychopaths with a cruel character in the country where killing someone “is a normal” and where no one pays attention to the suffering of those who can’t defend themselves.

A friend of mine, who was in army during the war, has told me: “You can’t face death almost every day and expect to be the same person as you used to be once.”

He is right.

Rescuers face death almost every day. We face the most notorious consequences of cruel minds and we face suffering every day. The worst thing is that we live in the country where decades are needed to change this situation. We aren’t the same persons as we used to be. We talk and think about the horrors and atrocities and we bear our responsibility to help so many animals. They only have us and no one else. Authorities who ought to protect them, actually kill them and chase us. We live in the country where logic “ends”, but still we don’t give up. We mustn’t give up.

******

RELATED POSTS:

Mass poisoning of stray dogs in Zenica, Bosnia
Poisoning of dogs ordered in Donji Vakuf, Bosnia
Monstrous Killing and Injuring of Stray Dogs in Zenica, Bosnia!
Dogs found slaughtered outside Shelter in Sarajevo
Puppy Flung off Bridge in Sarajevo, Bosnia
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 WITH WIRE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia

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DONATIONS
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.

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: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

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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.

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Poisoning of dogs ordered in Donji Vakuf, Bosnia

15592551_10154339702341219_1779915915_nIn March of 2015 we published news of dogs poisoned in Donji Vakuf, Bosnia where strays were poisoned using a variety of methods including crushed glass being added to food, Demestos and other toxins. Many of the dogs killed had been sterilised in the local TNR campaignWe placed a call to action in our blog and on Facebook and asked you to email and fax the authorities in Donji Vakuf. Many of you did, and we learned that this had a positive result, with a reduction in these illegal, inhumane poisonings. However, we have just been informed that it’s starting up again, that a mass poisoning of strays is once again being organised. AGAIN WE NEED YOUR HELP TO STOP THIS! All details on who to contact, with draft letters to email are towards the end of this blog.

What is occurring in Donji Vakuf is a violation of the Animal Protection and Welfare law of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is happening in populated areas, as before. 

15595612_10154342074891219_1835113338_oA concerned citizen told us: “First, let me try to explain how these non-humans operate. They are completely organised. In this town, no one can do anything without the police knowing. So I’m sure the police are involved. Half an hour ago I passed one part of town and there was not a single dog. Three days ago there were at least  20 street dogs in this area. My assumption is that people from hunting associations are poisoning dogs by order of the mayor of the municipality but there is no proof. I am doing everything I can to track and document what is happening. I know the hunter’s vehicles. But so far I have no proof. Very likely they finish their work and I am too late to witness it. I reported the poisoning that happened last year, and this year I asked the police how far has the investigation progressed. They answered that they did not even have a blood sample analysis and that all dogs are listed as “allegedly” poisoned. The third participant in the poisoning is the utility company that quickly removes corpses, so I have only pictures of 2 poisoned dogs.All dogs are poisoned in the city’s populated area. I believe at least 50 dogs have been poisoned but I only have pictures of just two of the dogs, due the rapid removal of corpses.

I just pray that you can somehow put pressure on the municipal authorities. Please write articles, blogs. Please send emails because I know they read them and they retreat when they receive an email or fax from the EU or the USA. If an association for the protection of animals in the EU reacted, they would re-think what they are doing. Especially put pressure on the Municipal Council. I know of 21 councillors and not one is an animal lover.”

This concerned citizen has also asked everyone to contact the Landskrona municipality in Sweden. They are a big donor for development to the Donji Vakuf municipality. He asks us to please tell them them what they do with the dogs in Donji Vakuf. Details below.

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Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer and activist tells us that an investigation is being conducted on the basis of her previous criminal report on poisonings in this area but the police are obstructing the investigation. Dalida told us: “I will take all necessary actions to stop this. It means that I will try to force the prosecutors to send an inspector from the Cantonal police instead of police officers from Vakuf itself.

Last year dogs were poisoned on the city streets, in the doorways of buildings, in the city parks. The Veterinary Station of Donji Vakuf confirmed poison was used to kill the dogs, given the symptoms, and they stated that half the dogs killed had been sterilised in the local campaign.

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This brutal means to tackle a stray dog problem 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.

FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP. Do not forget to email the authorities listed below in Sweden (number 2 on the list).

1. Please send emails and faxes to the officials involved in the Donji Vakuf municipality below, 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.

Huso Sušić, Mayor of Donji Vakuf
Email: huso.susic@donji-vakuf.ba
Fax: + 387 30 509-615

Chief of Inspections Sector
Muhamed Sijamija
Email: muhamed.sijamija@donji-vakuf.ba
Fax:+ 387 30  509-615

Municipality of Donji Vakuf 
Email: opcinadv@bih.net.ba
Fax: + 387 30 / 509-615

Nedžad Karahodžić  (Komandir/Zapovjednik – police chief) 
Policijska stanica Donji Vakuf
Telephone-fax copy + 387 30-205-550
Emails: mupsbk@bih.net.ba
glasnogovornik@muptravnik.com.ba
administracija@muptravnik.com.ba

Zvonko Mandić
Inspectorate: Odsjek inspekcije Bugojno
Fax +387 30 251 051
E-mail: sbkprivreda@bih.net.ba

Ivica Sivonjić – Assistant Chief, Travnic Municipality:
Phone and fax: + 387 (o) 30 511 791/ (0) 30 511 277 ext 214
E-mail address: ivica.sivonjic@opcinatravnik.com.ba

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:

*****

Dear

We have been informed about the  recent illegal poisoning and killing of dogs in Donji Vakuf. We are aware that this occurred last year, and that it caused an international outcry. We ask that you ensure, once again, that 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. 

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 very 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.

Yours,

*****

2. Please contact the Landskrona municipality in Sweden and their embassy in Bosnia. They are a big donor to the Donji Vakuf municipality please tell them them what they do with the dogs in Donji Vakuf: 
Landskrona Municipality Facebook Page with contact details:
https://www.facebook.com/Landskronastad/
Their website: http://www.landskrona.se/
Their contact details:
Monday-Friday 7:30 to 17:00
Telephone: +46 (0) 418-47 00 00
23 December and 30 December, the switchboard is open 7:30 to 12:00
Address: City Hall, Drottninggatan 7, Landskrona, Sweden
email: kommun@landskrona.se
Email of the Swedish embassy in Bosnia: ambassaden.sarajevo-visum@gov.se
Tel +387 33 27 60 37
Fax: +387 33 27 60 61

Copy of a letter you can send to the Swedish authorities is at the end of this blog.

3. 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

4. Contact any international animal welfare organisations you know, asking them to send letters as per the instructions above.

5. 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 donations@awabosnia.org, but make sure to mark your donation as ‘VAKUF’. We can also use funds to help poisoned dogs who survive but need veterinary care. Please join the AWABosnia Facebook group for updates.

COPY OF LETTER YOU CAN SEND TO SWEDISH EMBASSY (with thanks to Dalida Kozlic for drafting this for us)

Dear Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark,

Since the city Landskrona helps development of the municipality of Donji Vakuf in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as having a partnership relationship with Donji Vakuf, officials and authorities of Landskrona need to be aware of illegal and cruel atrocities that are currently happening in Donji Vakuf.

In March of 2015 stray dogs were poisoned using a variety of methods including crushed glass being added to food, bleach and other toxins. Many of the dogs killed had been sterilised in the local TNR campaign.

Please see the following information:
https://inmemoryofvucko.org/2015/03/10/dogs-poisoned-in-donji-vakuf-bosnia/

https://inmemoryofvucko.org/2015/04/14/official-investigation-ordered-into-donji-vakuf-dog-poisoning/

Unfortunately, another illegal and mass killing of stray dogs started in Donji Vakuf a few days ago. Dogs are being poisoned. Updates about this crime can be found also on the blog In Memory of Vucko above.

This is a violation of the Animal Protection and Welfare law of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is occurring in populated areas, as before.

Also, I want to inform you about the background of these atrocities that is connected with organised crime on the highest level of political organisation.

As you know, the Bosnian War was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. Casualties of the war were not only people. Animals also were casualties and suffered a lot during the war. Bosnia and Herzegovina did not have an animal Protection and Welfare Act until 2009. The animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Herzegovina was legislated and entered into force by Parliamentary Assembly in 2009. This Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals is one of the best in Europe but nevertheless corrupt authorities are often involved in illegal killing of stray and wild animals because of money laundering.

Stray animals are victims of notorious abuse. Politically eligible people construct so-called shelters for stray animals, which really only have the a function of a concentration camp and then the officials invoice for false spay/neuter programs, as well as for food that is not in fact given to animals. Fake invoices are created for veterinary examinations and treatment, and the means for euthanasia. In reality, stray animals are being abused, harmed, and killed in the worst possible ways, by methods which the medieval Inquisition would envious. It is illegal and represents a series of violations of Criminal law as well as Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Actually the Animal Protection and Welfare Act is an absolutely enforceable and functional law and that is not enforced because of political interests and personal enrichment as above.

The problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina is that the protection of animals is often identified with the financial situation in the country. It is a complete absurdity. Cases of animal abuse are not considered as awful, illegal acts and animal rescuers are presented as “fools” and people who “do not have anything better to do.” This shows that the society does not understand or concern themselves with beings unable to fight for themselves and their rights, as well as having a complete lack of empathy for those who suffer.

Prosecution of the perpetrators of  crimes against animals very rarely occur. It is evident that it is not a necessary training of police officers, nor for prosecutors and judges. When it comes to the response of police officers, it usually goes in the direction that cases of animal abuse are considered an unimportant offence. Police officers and inspectors are not familiar with all the consequences and symptoms that animal abuse represents.

The problem of judicial institutions is similar.

The problem of overpopulation of stray dogs in Bosnia is a direct consequence of the failure to implement the laws, as well as a series of obstructions and misuse of the Act on the Protection and Welfare of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a lex specialis (the main legislation) in the field of treating animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Act, as well as related by-laws, are the main legal framework for all other laws and by-laws that are legislated by the legislative authorities at any level of organization of authority in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

By attempting only a partial and non-systematic implementation of the Act, the suffering of stray dogs on the streets will only widen further, and budget funds will be spent on non-purpose, illegal and unsystematic attempts to solve the problem. Instead of solving the problem with legal solutions, authorities have been financing the killing of stray animals in illegal pounds for years. Financing of illegal pounds is a violation of the provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, as well as a serious offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Failure to implement the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals is the result of a series of abuses and obstructions as well as of the authorities dealing only with consequences and not with the causes of the problem, and the causes are the abandonment of animals, irresponsible ownership and uncontrolled reproduction.

Increased numbers of dogs on the streets is always and only a direct result of irresponsible ownership, and failure to implement preventive measures that are provided by the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, such as punishing those who abandon animals, the full identification of ownership and pets, implementing spay/neuter projects with vaccination and tagging of stray animals in an appropriate form and number, and education and information campaigns which are aimed to raise public awareness about the causes of the problem.

The Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals very clearly and precisely provides solutions for dealing with an overpopulation of stray animals in Bosnia. The first legal obligation of authorities is to build shelters for stray animals, whose purpose is to give good care for stray animals until they are adopted. Another legal obligation of the authorities is the registration of ownership of animals.

Finally, after seven years the State Veterinary Office enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it has not yet established a unified register of ownership of animals. Abandoning of animals by their owners is a direct generator of the problem, and the cause of abandoning of animals is the policy of impunity of people who abandon their animals. The only way to solve this problem is for municipalities and cantons to establish their own registries of ownership of animals, and this will significantly contribute to improving the situation in the canton, and then the entity and state level. Sarajevo Canton authorities have already been offered software for the registration of ownership of animals.

If the registry of tagged animals and owners of animals is established, it will enable the identification, prosecution and punishment of people who abandon animals. The implementation of repressive measures will directly affect the consciousness of citizens and achieve the function of a general and special prevention and repression. Because of the absence of a register of breeders, illegal breeding causes an increasing of number of stray animals. Irresponsible or unregistered breeders and breeding contributes to increasing the number of stray animals.

Although it is their legal obligation, municipalities and cities refuse to finance the construction and maintenance of adequate shelters for stray animals because of poor financial conditions, but rescuers and concerned citizens witness everyday improper and illegal spending of budget funds. Also false information about the cost of maintaining shelters is published. If violators of the provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals are punished, the funds raised from fines ought to be directed towards the construction and maintenance of shelters for stray animals. Also implementation of the Act of Protection and Welfare of Animals can be financed by funds collected from legally obligatory vaccination of dogs against rabies. Until shelters for stray animals are built, municipalities can assist by financing the feeding of stray animals, and authorities are obliged to implement spay/neuter projects.

If the shelters for stray animals, which must be “centres for treatment and adopting of stray animals,” are built and maintained in accordance with state regulations and law, and if there is an appropriate policy for establishing and managing shelters, the cost will be low. Quality education and raising awareness of the citizens will mean an increase in the percentage of adoption of abandoned animals.

Hygienic services are directly related to the existence of shelters for stray animals and because of this, the establishment of hygienic services cannot be an independent measure to solve the problem and to decrease the population of stray animals. Hygienic services must be established in accordance with the provisions of the law on the establishment and the conditions that hygienic services must fulfil in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The purpose of a hygienic service is capturing and transport of stray animals to veterinary stations and shelters. Certainly the establishment of a legal  hygienic services is necessary, but hygienic services cannot exist and work without implementing all the other legal obligations of the authorities, especially without building shelters. If hygienic services work without implementing all the provisions and measures provided by the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, those services do not solve the problem and they are perfect grounds for different abuses and misuses of the laws.

Only by full implementation of Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals, misuse and illegal killing in shelters and hygienic services can be prevented. Also, all responsible authorities such as the Veterinary Office, Veterinary inspection, authorised official veterinarians, police, etc., must be involved in the implementation of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, and it is their legal obligation. Authorities in Bosnia have failed to fulfil their legal obligations and many authorities that are responsible for implementation of the Act have actually violated the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals. Such illegal behaviour must be punished and prevented.

Preventing of abuse, which are particularly related to the fact that stray dogs can “disappear” is only possible by consistent implementation of all the measures stipulated by the Act on the protection and welfare of animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

You should be aware that the partial and manipulating misuse of Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, which has been in practice so far, only makes an even greater and longer-lasting problem. The problem of overpopulation of stray dogs can be solved by the registration of ownership of dogs, engaging a certified trainer for the protection of animals to educate people, assistance in developing of a strategy to solve the problem of stray animals and finally the building self-sustaining shelters for stray animals.

Without complete and consistently implementing of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, the problem of overpopulation of stray animals will not be solved. It is important to end the illegal practice of partial implementation of the law which is a criminal offence and which causes the problem to become even more complicated and difficult.

In this particular case the city of Landskrona can help us to stop mass killing of stray dogs with its political and financial influence on authorities of Donji Vakuf and therefore I must emphasise that if money from the budget of Landskrona is used to finance development of Donji Vakuf, your moral obligation is to act in this case and require immediate action of authorities.

Yours.
__________________________
Email this particular letter to: kommun@landskrona.se
And to:  ambassaden.sarajevo-visum@gov.se
___________________________
Related posts:

Hunters Killing Dogs Again
Official Investigation Ordered into Donji Vakuf Dog Poisoning
Dogs Poisoned in Donji Vakuf, Bosnia
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

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DONATIONS

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: donations@awabosnia.org . Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

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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.

Dogs Have Become Public Enemy Number One

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-21-39-48Interview with Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, in “Tacno“, 8 September 2016
Author: Predrag Blagovcanin
Translator: Jelena Martinelli, www.sprachenboutique.com

Dogs have become public enemy number one and the lightning rod for a society which suffers from all kinds of problems. If this society thinks about how to kill as many dogs as possible rather than how to make a living, here the problem starts. We are a psychopathic society that suffers from mass aggression and a society that has misdirected its aggression.

“All his life my father has been rescuing abandoned dogs. Already in Ex-Yugoslavia he was fighting against hunters and the killings of dogs in the streets. In August 2004 we barely survived a shooting in front of our family house that a member of the Breza hunting society had started and during which a dog was killed right in front of my eyes. This was the point in time when in addition to being a rescuer I became an activist and lobbyist for the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina. After I graduated from law school I continued my fight through legal protection of animals.”

Dalida Kozlic is an activist for legal protection of animals. For years she has been drawing public attention to the consequences of the non-implementation of the Animal Protection and Welfare Act. For her rescue efforts and hints at financial corruption and the non-transparent public spending with respect to abandoned animals, Dalida and her family continue to suffer pressures from the local government. This interview was done after her father Eldar Kozlic was physically attacked in the premises of the municipality of Breza earlier this month. We also have spoken about the decision of the Sarajevo Canton to remove all abandoned and stray dogs from the streets for community safety reasons, the relationship between the citizens and the officials who fail to solve the problem, the politicization of this issue and other topics…

Tacno: Last week your father was physically attacked in the premises of the municipality of Breza. Can you tell us what preceded this attack and why you and your family have been under constant pressure from the local administration in this municipality?

Dalida Kozlic: In 2013 my father Eldar Kozlic and myself learned that one part of the abandoned dogs, that were in the city centre of Breza, had been caught and brought from the territory of Breza to the hunting grounds of the municipality of Ilijas. Some of the municipality officials were involved in this. The problems started, after my father and myself had reported this to the authorities in charge: First we came under attack by our neighbor Edin Velic, who was campaigning and collecting signatures against us, because we were keeping dogs on our property. Later it turned out, that most of the signatures were falsified. Many other pressures started against my family. During the trial Edin Velic admitted that he was influenced and pressured by municipality officials to give us a hard time because of our battle for animal welfare. Then, the cantonal veterinary inspection checked our premises and confirmed that our dogs were well nourished, vaccinated, medically checked and that the boxes in which they were accommodated fulfilled all the requirements of the Regulation concerning protection of dogs, who are kept as pets in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Later on we learned, that the officer for economic affairs and deputy mayor of the Breza municipality, Salih Hasanspahic, had put pressure literally every day on the veterinary inspection to issue an unfavorable report. Nevertheless, the cantonal veterinary inspection followed the findings of the local sanitary inspection: they too confirmed that all sanitary requirements were fulfilled, dogs were kept properly and that there was a sewage system. It became quiet for a while, but it seemed to be like the calm before the storm: As soon as I continued to report a series of animal abuses in Breza and killings of dogs in the county of “Rudnik Mrkog Ulja Breza”, the pressure was back on.

Then, a new decision regarding the treatment of abandoned dogs and pets was taken on the community level, and, without any legal basis, a new community inspector Elsada Sehovic took office. She too issued a report confirming that the dogs were kept in accordance to the law, however she decided that my dad had to remove the dogs from the property.

I want to emphasize that it was Muris Nuhanovic, donor to the party “Association for a better future Bosnia and Hercegovina”, who had reported us to the local inspection. This party did everything they could to change the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina, although they failed, and they are promoting killing as a solution. Also it is important to know that Muris Nurhanovic is our neighbor who I have reported to the police because of the brutal stoning of a dog, for which there is also photo evidence. The dog is safe, and against Muris Nuhanovic an investigation is being carried out. He had reported us to the local inspection after he was summoned as a suspect concerning this criminal offence. His complaint against the decision has been rejected in an accelerated procedure, while I have initiated a legal action against the local administration which is still not closed.

Once the community officials realized that they would lose the legal battle and that they could not influence my work, Halil Tuzlic, the mayor, asked for cooperation during a meeting with my father and me, and suggested that the municipality of Breza offer a piece of land where a dog shelter could be built and thus the Animal Welfare and Protection Act implemented. He asked us to help with our contacts and especially wanted me to help with the legal work and the supervision of the shelter.

Salih Hasanspahic was responsible for the coordination. The time limit to find a property was one month.  However, after two months even there was no concrete proposal, since he insisted that me and my family had to solve the entire problem of the abandoned dogs in the municipality of Breza, that the community bore no responsibility at all and that we moved our dogs to this shelter. It also turned out that he deliberately obstructed the whole process in order to put through his own interests.

My father made an appointment with him on the 2nd September 2016 in his office in the Breza town hall. When my father entered Salih Hasanspahic’s office, Salih left the office and came back in with Edin Velic. My father reacted saying that he had nothing to talk about with them. Right after that, Salih calls in Muris Nuhanovic and the local inspector and locks the office. My father tells them that he is being kept hostage, that there is nothing to discuss and demands to be set free immediately. Salih is not willing to unlock the door and tells my father that he is going to “stay until dawn if it’s necessary to solve “their” problem”. Now Muris Nuhanovic attacks my father several times who cannot leave the office, while Salih refuses to unlock the door. All this lasts for about 15 minutes, when Salih finally opens the door after Nuhanovic had tried to punch my father.

My father immediately goes to the police office, which is 50 meters away from the town hall building. The police officers find them still on site, and the criminal investigation department immediately takes over the case since there are several criminal offences involved. The public prosecution department is in charge of the case. I would like to emphasize that the illegal restraint committed by Salih Hasanspahic is especially important, and it is also very significant that it happened right on the first day of the election campaign, which is noteworthy, since I have noticed a certain resistance from Salih Hasanspahic to follow orders from the mayor, as well as a resistance against the mayor personally. The public prosecution department of the Canton of Doboj-Zenica has to take the case very seriously and take all measures foreseen by law to punish the perpetrators. This was an attempted lynching of a family that takes care of 120 dogs, which we have taken from the streets, which again would have been the duty of municipality authorities, and a family who is fighting for the implementation of the act.

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Tacno: The latest decision of the government of the Canton of Sarajevo to remove all the dogs from the streets of Sarajevo has upset the animal welfare organizations. Why?

Dalida Kozlic: The decision taken by the government of the Canton of Sarajevo on the session of the 30th June 2016, which orders catching of abandoned dogs on a massive scale on the territory of the Sarajevo Canton, is not only a gross violation of the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina but also a serious form of organized business crime. This decision was preceded by the preparation of the project “Monitoring of zoonotic infectious and parasitic diseases in the population of abandoned dogs in the Canton of Sarajevo”. Project executors were the cantonal public company KJP “Veterinarska stanica d.o.o. Sarajevo”, the Veterinary faculty in Sarajevo and the Cantonal administration for inspection – the Inspectorate for the veterinary inspection. The value of the project was KM 133’000 (USD 76’000). The mentioned large-scale catching of dogs had been entrusted to the cantonal public waste management company KJKP “Rad d.o.o. Sarajevo” and KJP “Veterinarska stanica d.o.o. Sarajevo”. Responsible for the execution of the above mentioned decision was the ministry of public utilities and infrastructure of the Sarajevo Canton, while the decision and the project were financed from the budget of the Canton of Sarajevo. The Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina bans any type of experimenting and unauthorized testing on abandoned animals, while the veterinary laws and regulations of Bosnia and Hercegovina state that only the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Hercegovina is allowed to undertake projects to determine and control diseases of any origin in the population. The scandalous, inhumane and illegal way of treating captured dogs is best observed in the example of the illegal shelter in Zunovnica. It is confirmed also through photos taken in the mentioned building, that dogs are obviously held without food and water, that they are starved and skinny and that they are literally lying in their own feces which have not been removed for a long period of time. They are exposed to contagion, they are running the risk of injuring one another, and because of these inhumane conditions they die in agony. Also, we have found out, that the dogs are taken for neutering/spaying and then are brought back not just to a dirty place, but to a place covered with feces. Zunovica is literally a concentration camp and the most horrific example of the breaking of many laws by the cantonal government itself, which spends tax money on this horrific torture of abandoned dogs.

Tacno: Can you as a lawyer explain to us, why to date the Animal Protection and Welfare Act still has not been fully implemented, although it has been adopted in 2009?

Dalida Kozlic: The Animal Protection and Welfare Act has not been implemented at all. Not because it is not possible or because it is too costly, but because in this way criminal activities become possible, just like those on the territory of the Sarajevo Canton. At first, after the act had been adopted, public authorities were not interested. Then they quickly realized that it was financially rewarding to offer illegal shelters and illegal sanitary services. There are many illegal shelters that have been set up by people who are close to politicians and people in power. These people set up illegal “shelters for abandoned animals” that are basically concentration camps, and then bill for fictitious veterinary services and food that never reaches the animals. They invoice for euthanasia drugs, while the abandoned animals are agonized and killed in the most brutal ways in these so called “shelters”. Also, according to the same principle, they set up illegal sanitary services and take money from the budgets of various municipalities. This way big money is stolen from the budgets at all levels of public administration, because, if you have legal shelters that accommodate the dogs conforming to the law, there is no possibility to steal money. If, on the contrary, you build a fence around a piece of land, where you put hundreds of dogs, for which you receive money while the dogs die of starvation, and at the same time you bill for many other “services”, then you get rich. This is the main reason why the act has not been implemented – because of organized business crime at the highest level.

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Tacno: For years you have been pointing at the fact that enormous sums of public money have been taken from the budget to mitigate the effects of this problem. Is this the actual reason why there is no systemic solution?

Dalida Kozlic: First, the administration stated, that one dog in a shelter costs KM 157 (USD 90) per month, which is not true. But this unsubstantiated story has helped that the budget provides for unjustifiably high sums for illegal shelters and sanitary services. This way the public administration worsens the problem, since as long as there are dogs on the streets, there will be stealing money from the budget. The attempt to partially implement the act will only increase the agony of the abandoned dogs on the streets as well as that of the citizens, and budget money will be wasted for the umpteenth time to solve the problem in a nonsystematic way. Apart from the many abuses and obstructions during the execution of the act, today’s failure is also the result of public authorities focusing on the effects of the problem, i.e. killing the dogs, which by the way is a criminal act and a violation of the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina. At the same time the authorities in charge do not care about solving the root cause of the problem, which is the abandonment of the dogs and the uncontrolled reproduction.

Tacno: Who is responsible that through the indifference of the public authorities, the problem of the strays has grown from a local problem to a health and safety problem for the citizens of the Sarajevo Canton and others?

Dalida Kozlic: First and foremost, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relation of Bosnia and Hercegovina, under which the Veterinary Office operates, which is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the mentioned act. The Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Hercegovina has been a passive bystander for years and with that is also an accomplice, because it does not perform the duties provided by law. Then the veterinary inspections which are not only not acting in those cases in which they are legally obliged in order to stop the horrors, but which even openly support the criminals. Then the public administration departments that did not fulfill their part of the obligations imposed by law, and that have artificially created a bigger problem, even though the obligations to systematically resolve the problem are clearly stated. Then the public prosecution office and the police who are not taking legal action against business crime and money laundering, and finally the citizens themselves, who have failed to demand that the federal act be implemented. The problem of the abandoned dogs has not endangered the health and safety of the citizens. Of course it is a problem that needs to be solved lawfully, and the sooner the law is executed the better. But the whole story about the threat to the citizens is just a pretext for this society, which suffers from mass aggression towards those who are weaker, to do whatever they want to those who cannot protect themselves. This is not a question of the human-animal relationship anymore; it’s about the future relationship of our children with their fellow humans.

Tacno: Has the resolution of the problem of abandoned animals become a politicized issue? In your opinion, why does it become a hot topic every time during an election campaign?

Dalida Kozlic: This is a political question, indeed, however, the periodic reissue of the story of how to resolve this problem, is not only a classical election campaign story. It is a story that has been created 3 years ago in order to draw attention away from much bigger problems. It is in the best interest of the authorities if there is an atmosphere of fear, and they have chosen the dogs to be public enemy number one. Post-war societies in general feel the need to vent their feelings of stress and frustration. Normal societies in post-war times focus on reconstruction and renewal. Unfortunately, our society is neither normal nor does it focus on renewal, instead the majority of our citizens are focused on non-existent issues. If people do not earn enough to meet their needs, they become dissatisfied. This can lead to changes. The authorities in Bosnia and Hercegovina always had the “perfect” way to fuel tensions through nationalism. Over time however, this was not enough anymore and they needed a new enemy. The dogs have taken this place. While our citizens tremble at the sight of an abandoned dog, they are not even aware how dangerous our society is, how high the crime and corruption rates are. While they warn their kids to stay away from the “dangerous” abandoned dogs, they fail to warn them of pedophiles, of which there are more than one would think in our society. Our citizens are so much focused on the story of the dogs; they have no idea what is going on around them.

Tacno: Has the public perception towards the people responsible for the problem changed, since very often animal welfare organizations are mentioned when it comes to responsibility for the street dogs?

Dalida Kozlic: The public perception has changed completely. First of all, the non-governmental sector has no institutional power whatsoever. These are true NGOs, people who are pointing out what needs to be improved, changed, but also what is illegal. Citizens need to be aware, that without activists, animal lovers, associations and citizens who just feed the strays, there would be up to 50% more dogs on the streets in certain areas. Can some citizens grasp that the law has clearly stated the responsibilities, obligations and competences to resolve this problem are the government’s jurisdiction, while the animal lovers and associations actually do the government’s job? We are the victims of emotional blackmail, since our only choice is to either take a dog or to leave him to the authorities for better or worse. If I say that I have 120 dogs under my care, what do the citizens think happens if I set them all free? On paper, everybody supports a united state of Bosnia and Hercegovina, but as soon as a part of the civil community promotes execution of a STATE law, then that civil community is made responsible for the problem they are, in fact, trying to solve. When in a meeting Dino Konakovic (prime minister of the Sarajevo Canton – translator’s note) says that he “couldn’t care less about a state law”, he basically says, that he is above the state, that he can do anything he likes. This is called a coup d’état. When associations and activists demand the law to be executed, then we are called crooks and liars, that we wish that there are dogs on the streets etc.… The citizens have to learn to demand that the laws be executed. We demand that. And if I say “we”, I mean every decent animal lover who does not want their money to be spent on bloodshed and finance crime.

Tacno: How can we solve the problem today? Can the issue of abandoned animals today, seven years after the enactment of the law, be solved just by executing this law?

Dalida Kozlic: When the number of the dogs on the streets increases, it is always and only the direct consequence of the behavior of irresponsible dog owners. Also, it is the consequence of the authorities’ failure to take preventive measures foreseen by the law: by not penalizing owners who abandon their dogs, by not enforcing full identification of ownership, by not following through with spaying and neutering projects and vaccinations. The authorities have failed to systematically mark the abandoned dogs, and failed to carry out education and information campaigns which should have raised public awareness about the causes of the problem. The mentioned law has determined a very clear and decided system how to solve the problem of abandoned dogs. The first legal obligation is to provide shelters with the goal of accommodating the animals until adoption. The modus operandi are described in the Regulation about forming shelters and the conditions that need to be fulfilled by the shelters for abandoned animals in Bosnia and Hercegovina. The second legal obligation in the system is the registration of pets. Until the construction of the shelters is finished, the municipalities can help with food for the abandoned animals, and of course they are obliged to spay and neuter the abandoned animals as prescribed by law. Should the shelters, which are supposed to be “centers for adoption and medical aid for abandoned animals”, be built and maintained in accordance with the public regulations, and as long the shelters are managed professionally, the costs will not be huge. With a good information campaign and by raising public awareness, the number of adoptions will increase.

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Tacno: To what extent are the dogs in our society stigmatized because of the neglect by the local administration and the responsible institutions, as well as because of the unprofessional journalistic reporting?

Dalida Kozlic: People are afraid of dogs; dogs are the subject of discussion and debate. Meanwhile we are one of the poorest and the most miserable country in the whole of Europe, so the deprived people take their frustration out on those who cannot protect themselves. Dogs are a channel for the anger people should feel towards those who are responsible for the way we live today. Dogs have become public enemy number one and the lightning rod for a society which suffers from all kinds of problems. If this society thinks about how to kill as many dogs as possible rather than how to make a living, here the problem starts. We are a psychopathic society that suffers from mass aggression and a society that has misdirected its aggression.

******
Interview on Tacno: Dalida Kozlić: Psi su vještački stvorena meta i proglašeni su zlom u društvu

If you want to support Dalida in her work, what she needs most is support to keep her rescues safe so she can not worry about fundraising and focus on her legal work fighting for the rights of strays of Bosnia. This month there are two YouCarings for her:

For food for over 100 rescues:

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-21-36-23Pension (kennel) costs for 45 rescues:

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Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:

Money laundering behind killing of stray dogs in Sarajevo
Evidence of crimes against dogs ignored!
Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo
Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?

Animal Advocates Assaulted in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there. Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, 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: donations@awabosnia.org. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

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 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. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

Evidence of crimes against dogs ignored!

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 22.40.08There are several recent blogs recently on this issue. Please see, in particular, “Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo” for information on how to help stop this abuse.

Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH writes:

14031025_10208713506628666_1293992042_nAs we have already written, a massacre of strays is being performed by te authorities of Canton Sarajevo. The Government of Canton Sarajevo during its session on the 30th June issued a decision ordering the hygienic service of Public utility company of KJKP Rad. Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company „Veterinary station“ Ltd. Sarajevo to start mass catching of stray dogs in Sarajevo. If you have read the recent blogs you will know there is not place to put caught dogs: legal shelters with adequate capacities do not exist at all, and yet the Government of Canton Sarajevo has signed a contract with a notorious – and illegal – hygienic service, P.E. “Lokum” of Novi Grad, Ltd. Novi Grad Sarajevo, and its veterinary station to catch and ‘remove’ stray dogs in Reljevo. Where to, we ask?

Lokum was established in the municipality of Novi Grad Sarajevo on the 30th May of 2013. This so-called “Hygienic service” was not established and registered in accordance with article 29 of Bosnia’s Animal Protection and Welfare Act nor in accordance with the laws that establish the conditions hygienic services must fulfil.

Since then, thousands of stray dogs have been killed in Sarajevo.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 22.42.36This illegal hygienic service invoices for food, medications, veterinary services, placement, fuel, and catching of dogs for placement in shelters. Note that these invoices are for dogs who are dead, killed by the service.

Evidence for this was presented to the Bosnian police officers and prosecutors. The Prosecutor’s office of Canton Sarajevo had started investigating the allegations and evidence I presented in numerous criminal reports against Lokum. It is one of the most severe violations of the Criminal Code in Bosnian history.

When the investigation was re-launched due to critical mistakes of the previous prosecutor, Dalida received an official document signed by the main prosecutor of Canton Sarajevo Dalida Burzic, who stated the following: “…funds that had been allocated for dogs, were stolen without any doubt, and the question remains where dogs have disappeared to…” The number of this case is T 09 KTP 0072282 15.

14081195_10208713501268532_527581251_nThe investigation was re-launched because Milutin Koprivica, who had initially led the investigation, broke the provisions of the Criminal Code of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and had obstructed the initial investigation.

However, although the new investigation is being conducted, Prosecutor Dalida Burzic who clearly understood funds were being stolen and dogs ‘disappearing’,  is ignoring the fact that the dog catchers of Lokom have begun working again and that her legal obligation is to require suspension of their activities until the investigation is completed. Also, there is evidence of criminal offences committed by the prime minister of Canton Sarajevo and his partners and criminal financing of the crimes of dog catchers of Rad, and these crimes are ongoing.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 22.43.38A few videos have appeared of the dog catchers at work, on 17th and 18th August. One video shows an extremely brutal catching of stray dogs in Ilidza, Sarajevo, and another video also shows a brutal catching of puppies in Sarajevo. On the first video, you can hear people begging dog catchers to leave dog alone.

It is more than obvious that the authorities of Canton Sarajevo are allowed to commit very serious criminal offences, while one of the biggest investigations of money laundering and killing of stray dogs is being conducted and yet the prosecutors do not fulfil their legal obligation to stop these on-going crimes.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 22.43.12I am aware that the videos below are graphic, but please watch them and help us to force our authorities to stop this massacre. Please, write to your embassies, only international pressure can help. Bosnian authorities must be literally forced by embassies and western politicians to end these crimes against innocent animals and to prosecute those who are responsible.

For information on how to help stop this abuse, with a draft letter, click here scroll to the bottom of the post.

RAD dog catchers in action, Sarajevo, 17th August:

Lokom dog catchers in action again, Sarajevo, 18th August

Lokom dog catchers in action again, Sarajevo, 18th August

Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer

For information on how to help stop this abuse, with a draft letter, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:

Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo
Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?

Animal Advocates Assaulted in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there. Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, 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: donations@awabosnia.org. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

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 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. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo

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As you know from our previous blog, on 30 June, 2016, the Cantonal Government of Sarajevo issued a decision which requires the utility company KJKP Rad Hygienic Service (or “P.C. Rad”) in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the street. And also you know there are not in fact enough places new dogs in the already overpopulated, poorly maintained and inhumane shelters.  This removal of strays from the city will not solve a problem which is the direct result of owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs. 

Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer and activist,  Aky Coowa, activist writes:

On Monday 25th July, a peaceful demonstration called “Stop killing the dogs“ was held in front of the Sarajevo Cantonal Government. Those who attended requested the prime minister to end the illegal activities of the public company KJKP Rad (Hygienic Service).  Amela Turalic, animal activist, took an opportunity when Mr. Elmedin Konakovic, Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton, was passing by and asked him for a meeting. He agreed. Previously, no one from the Cantonal Government had replied to a letter sent by a group of Sarajevo citizens for such a meeting.

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On 26th July, a few dog lovers and rescuers from Bosnia and Herzegovina met with Mr. Elmedin Konakovic and with the Minister for Utility and Infrastructure Senad Hasanspahić. It was the first time that the Prime Minister had such a meeting with several people defending dogs. The group was represented by the following people: Berina Alihodzic, Deputy Chief Cantonal Prosecutor, Amela Turalić from the NGO sector, Dalida Kozlic, lawyer, Elzemina Bajrović from the UNDP, an employee of the UN in the role of a concerned citizen and Almir Kuduz, owner of King pension.

13663563_10208548917874050_990398905_oPrime minister Elmedin Konakovic’s attitude initially clearly envisaged a “meeting with filthy activists/ demonstrators”. He began by insisting the situation with dogs was very alarming, that dogs were aggressive and infected, attacking pregnant women and so on. He said he would solve the problem of overpopulation of stray dogs by mass catching of stray dogs and that he wants to change the law immediately so dogs can be euthanised after 15 days in shelters. He stated all sick dogs should be euthanized. He seemed to have just one aim: to remove all dogs from Sarajevo. Apparently, he has chosen this illegal way to do it and he wants to implement illegal practices.

The Prime Minister had a strong support from the Minister for Utility and Infrastructure Senad Hasanspahić,

The team presented their arguments to the Prime Minister showing they were not “filthy activists” but serious people coming from recognised institutions.

13662480_10208548917914051_755251969_oElzemina from the UNDP talked about UNDP programmes regarding curbing stray animal populations and also stated that the UNDP BiH Representative gave her approval to attend the meeting (the Prime Minister had previously mentioned his collaboration with all ambassadors on the subject saying that they all agreed with him…). Almir Kuduz spoke, stating amongst other things the need to simplify and make affordable the process of transporting Bosnian dogs abroad for adoption; the fact that government should assist citizens and all people who care for stray dogs so it is easier to run legal pensions.

Prime minister Elmedin Konakovic booked another meeting with the group in a week.


13884396_10208548868872825_938767276_nThe intention of the group was to raise the question of the implementation of the decision of the 30th June. Since the Government and Prime Minister keep claiming this has been done legally, the group wanted to seek permission to have access to all dog catchers services (including all vehicles at the street) and to be allowed to follow the whole procedure from catching the dog to the placement in shelters or eventual euthanasia. Therefore, this issue will be raised at the forthcoming meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday.

The Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals is the main legislation regarding treatment of animals in Bosnia. Authorities of one canton must implement the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals and it is a criminal offence to finance activities that are done in accordance with illegal decisions of low level authorities.

13866823_10208548868952827_907391138_nAs you can see from the pictures, dog catchers are very active. They catch dogs even when they are asleep. Dogs who manage to escape being caught appear traumatised. There are three teams of dog catchers, working in two shifts. Dogs are taken to Cantonal veterinary station Sarajevo where rescuers and other people can rescue caught dogs, and also from this station some dogs are sent to Praca shelter mentioned above. However, dogs are also being taken to the headquarters of KJKP Rad where no one – no rescuers or animal advocates –  can enter, only employees of KJKP Rad. Also, dog catchers of KJKP Rad have started taking dogs to the infamous veterinary station in Reljevo and the infamous military base Zunovnica in Hadzic, where the dog catching service of P.E. “Lokum” of Novi Grad, has taken dogs. It is important to emphasise that the veterinary station in Reljevo is owned by Lokom and that it is known to be the worst killing pound in Sarajevo.

13654145_1837702073130454_8254499706440615420_nThe imperative is to stop the illegal catching and killing of strays and to enable rescuers to have access to all shelters and dog catching services, which is a legal obligation of authorities, but also it is very useful since rescuers can help maintain shelters and help feed and look after the animals there. Authorities must take their responsibility for solving of this problem.

Because owners are continuing to abandon their unsterilised dogs or the unsterilised offspring of their pets, and because there are not sufficient numbers of adequately run sterilisation campaigns, the number of dogs in the Canton Sarajevo is still around several thousand.
gladnosadpuppyNo one knows the exact number as there is no database. Local authorities built several shelters around Sarajevo in which conditions are even not close to a satisfactory level, animals have no vet care, conditions and treatment are inhumane. These shelters include Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje and Zunovnica with a maximum capacity of around 600 dogs in total. Dogs often die due to sickness or are attacked by other dogs. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Dogs survive – if at all – thanks to groups of volunteers and animal-friendly citizens of Sarajevo who visit them and provide food and some medicines. Some public companies donate some food or food scraps. Lucky dogs are homed in Bosnia or abroad thanks to volunteers. (During the meeting Prime Minister Elmedin Konakovic stated the government most likely would buy Praca shelter, and who knows what the consequence will be for the dogs.)

Thousands of dogs remaining on the streets cannot be placed in shelters as they are so overcrowded. Furthermore, there is not any official evidence as to how many dogs are taken from the streets, how many arrive in the shelters, what their health condition is, how many are euthanized and for what reason, and how many are currently at the shelters. There is no adequate inspection in practice, no official cooperation with the NGO sector which could make and keep evidence on everything in cooperation with the authorities. Hence dogs are often left at the mercy of employees of the hygienic service and shelter owners. No one knows how many die in between visits of the volunteers and due to what reason.

The Bosnian media is also getting more and more involved in reporting this case:
BIH MAGAZIN [22.07.2016.]
Misterija iza smanjenja broja pasa lutalica u Sarajevu
UBIJANJE ZAKONA O ZAŠTITI ŽIVOTINJA: Aktivisti tvrde da se sarajevski psi ubijaju u nelegalnim skloništima!

P1020736However media has also encouraged citizens of Sarajevo to live in fear of stray dogs. They constantly publish overwrought, bombastic articles about dogs attacking people, of infected and rabid dogs, of the filth they are producing in an otherwise very clean city et cetera. Currently there is, in fact, an alarming situation of rats and other rodents on the streets, but the media presents the dogs as a bigger problem. And no media is reporting on dogs being transported from other areas of Bosnia to Sarajevo, even, perhaps, from other countries (a truck has been seen filled with dogs in Sarajevo, with Albanian registration plates). A story was published about 10 days ago in several news portals, where the Prime Minister stated that child support is only 33 KM (about 16 euros) per child and yet the government is allocating 153 KM (about 78 euros) per stray dog. If this money did in fact go towards stray dogs, then the situation in the shelters and the overpopulation would not exist. Nevertheless such stories inflame the rage of the populace against dogs.

Most of of media is controlled and/or financed by leading political parties, which is why they do not publish the real situation.

HOW TO HELP:

PLEASE NOTE THAT PETITIONS DO VERY LITTLE. WE HAVE ORGANISED MANY WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SIGNATURES OBTAINED, BUT NO CHANGE HAS HAPPENED. It is better to write letters as follows:

1. Write letters to your embassy representative in Bosnia:

To find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina go here:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina
Finding any MEP in Europe – a ‘Euromap’
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html
Finding any MEP by the alphabetical name list can be done via the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/expert/alphaOrder.do?language=EN


2. Write letters to the Bosnian authorities:

Prime minister of Canton Sarajevo, Dino Konaković,   premijer@vlada.ks.gov.ba
Minister of Utility infrastracture, Senad Hasanspahić ministar@mki.ks.gov.ba and
mki@mki.ks.gov.ba

3. Write letters to international animal welfare organisations – google this for email addresses or go here on Wikipedia for information

Below is a draft letter you can modify to use. Or you can simply copy and paste the above blog and ask that something be done. Please be sure to address it to a specific person and to sign it, including your contact details.

________________________________________________

Dear XXX

Millions of citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty. Countries seeking to acquire EU membership need to demonstrate certain standards of animal care, and so I want to bring to your attention Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are seeking admission, and yet who constantly contravene their own animal welfare laws.

In 2009, the Law on Animal Welfare and Protection entered into force in Bosnia Herzegovina. Amongst other things this law proscribes that owners of dogs and cats are to register their animals at the veterinarian organization and mark them with microchips. Additionally, within the period of one year, institutions were obliged to build humane shelters in which all abandoned and lost animals found on the streets should be placed after being caught by a hygienic service, and in which they would be treated on a humane way and provided adequate veterinarian care. Until then, stray animals could be spayed and turned back to the street, while only sick, aggressive and dogs in agony were to be euthanized.

So far, no legally proscribed measure has been conducted. Since the local authorities have not conducted sufficient neutering campaigns on time and properly, the number of stray dogs has multiplied. Dogs Trust sterilization campaigns nave not been able to significantly reduce the numbers of dogs in Sarajevo. Owners are continuing to abandon their unsterilised dogs or the unsterilised offspring of their pets, so the number of dogs in the Canton Sarajevo still seems to be around several thousands. No one knows the exact number as there is no database. Local authorities built several shelters around Sarajevo in which conditions are even not close to a satisfactory level, animals have no vet care, conditions and treatment are inhumane. These shelters include Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje and Zunovnica with a maximum capacity of around 600 dogs in total. Dogs often die due to sickness or are attacked by other dogs. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Dogs survive thanks to groups of volunteers and animal-friendly citizens of Sarajevo who visit them and provide food and some medicines. Some public companies donate some food or food scraps. Lucky dogs are homed in Bosnia or abroad thanks to volunteers.

Thousands of those remaining on the streets cannot be placed in shelters as they are overcrowded. Furthermore, there is not any official evidence as to how many dogs are taken from the streets, how many arrive in the shelters, what their health condition is, how many are euthanized and for what reason, and how many are currently at the shelters. There is no adequate inspection in practice, no official cooperation with the NGO sector which could make and keep evidence on everything in cooperation with the authorities. Hence dogs are often left at the mercy of employees of the hygienic service and shelter owners. No one knows how many die in between visits of the volunteers and due to what reason.

On 30 June, 2016, Cantonal Government issued a decision which requires A utility company KJKP Rad (Hygienic Service), in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the street. In the course of their action, they take every dog, regardless of whether they are aggressive, sick, spayed (with a visible marked at the plate on the ear) or not. Even babies. While the Government is claiming that this is being done legally and in a human way, the implementation of the conclusion is illegal due to the fact that there is no space and no conditions at the shelters to put new arrivals of dogs. Therefore, it is obvious that hundreds and thousands of dogs taken from the streets are killed.

Furthermore, government public statements have been made with regards to this dog catching stating there is a need to collect aggressive and ill street dogs, which is part of the country’s animal welfare law. The same law prohibits the destruction of healthy dogs. And yet, animal welfare activists have documented healthy and non-aggressive dogs been caught and removed. In addition, the problem of strays in the city is a result of owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs.

Increased numbers of dogs on the streets is a direct result of irresponsible ownership, with owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs and because of government failure to implement preventive measures that are provided by the laws, such as punishing those who abandon animals, creating a registration of pets, providing adequate spay/neuter projects with vaccination and tagging of stray animals in an appropriate form and number, and education and information campaigns which are aimed to raise public awareness about the causes of the problem.

The BiH law on Protection and Welfare of Animals very clearly provides solutions for dealing with an overpopulation of stray animals in Bosnia. The first legal obligation of authorities is to build shelters for stray animals, whose purpose is to care for stray animals until they are adopted. Conditions that all shelters must fulfil are outlined in the law.

Regarding registration of pets, for seven years the State Veterinary Office has not enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor has established a unified database for registration.

The only way to solve this problem is for municipalities and governments to establish their own database of owned of animal. If the database of tagged animals and owners of animals is established, it will enable the identification, prosecution and punishment of people who abandon the animals.

Also, the dog shelters in this country are documented by animal rescue organisations and activists to be inhumane ‘death camps’ for dogs, and are in fact used for money laundering purposes: money destined for the dogs and the shelters is pocketed.

I am writing to ask your assistance in ensuring that the current ‘dog catching’ service of by the public utility company KJKP Rad Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company “Veterinary station” Ltd. be monitored and investigated to ensure it works according to Bosnian law and that the shelters in Sarajevo – in particular Zunovnica shelter – and other public shelters in the country have radically improved conditions,  and in particular that animal activists be allowed to document and ensure that the laws are applied.

We have been advised by BiH lawyers and activists that as the BiH politicians themselves are involved in stealing of money from illegal shelters and hygienic ‘dog catching’ services, and that since the prosecutors and police officers are also corrupt, the only way to force the BiH political establishment to stop their illegal practises is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies.

The existing Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia-Herzegovina is in fact a good and enforceable 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 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 and adequate care, including veterinary care for the animals housed there. Again, the truth is that the conditions in most public shelters are horrific, with dogs being left for days without water, food or care of any kind. There is documented evidence of this.

As you will be aware, the European Union provides the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with many millions of euros worth of financial aid each year.  My understanding of the provisos attached to these aid packages is that there is a requirement for the recipient country to abide by EU laws which would include the laws related to animal welfare. The Commission has stated that aligning national animal welfare legislation with EU law is a prerequisite for EU membership.

I would urge you please to raise the above issues with the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of animals (http://www.animalwelfareintergroup.eu/) and, critically, with your representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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 addressed. It is imperative that the European Commission and the Parliament discusses this matter with their Bosnia and Herzegovina counterparts.

We urge you to help ensure that the Bosnia Herzegovina authorities implement internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray dog population control and management, and that resources be allocated to ensure such principles are followed.

Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

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Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:

Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?

Animal Advocates Assaulted in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

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DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there. Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, 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: donations@awabosnia.org. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

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 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. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo

CULLture

Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH writes:

On June 30th the Government of Canton Sarajevo issued a decision ordering the hygienic service of Public utility company “Rad” Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company “Veterinary station” Ltd. Sarajevo to begin mass catching of stray dogs in Sarajevo.

Authorities of Canton Sarajevo admit they don’t in fact have enough places to put caught stray dogs and more details about the mass actions will be published on Monday.

What we do know is that the hygienic service of “Rad” will actively be catching stray dogs in Sarajevo, and to a greater degree than ever before.

The hygienic service/dog catching service of P. E. “Rad” Ltd. of Canton Sarajevo began working on the 14th of August, 2015. The assembly of Canton Sarajevo voted to establish this hygienic service in March, 2015, after the Bosnian media portals presented months of debate between animal protection activists and organisations and the government authorities. Canton Sarajevo’s efforts to establish this hygienic service failed in the autumn of 2014 after activists uncovered that the government had, in fact, issued an illegal decision to establish the service.

Most of the dogs caught by dog catchers of “Rad” are taken to the Cantonal veterinary station of Canton Sarajevo (Stup) where the dogs are examined and then taken to shelters for stray dogs.

10801687_379932732183613_2004348567224426053_nHowever, the hygienic service of P. E. “Rad” Ltd. does not fulfil the conditions required for a legal hygienic service, conditions which are provided by the laws of the country.

The most disturbing fact is that the director of this hygienic service is the notorious Mustafa Maglajlija. He was the director of an illegal killing pound that existed within “Rad” until 2009. Dog catchers’ service of P. E. “Rad” was previously active until 2009, and became a notorious group of dog catchers who were known for their mass slaughter of stray dogs in Canton Sarajevo. All these atrocities happened under the supervision of Mustafa Maglajlija. Also, the headquarters of the new hygienic service are in the same building as that of the former killing pound which is now full of stray dogs that have been caught by the new team of “Rad“. It is impossible to enter to the facility but witnesses have confirmed new dogs are arriving all the time.

It is obvious that the government of Canton Sarajevo has established a new facility for money laundering that is trying to work in the same way as it worked until 2009. The dog catching service of “Rad” wants to establish the same policy of killing as the Lokom dog catching service established since 2013.
Untitled2Mass catching of stray dogs in Sarajevo will cause existing shelters to become even more overcrowded than ever. These public shelters do not provide even the barest minimum of health and safety for dogs.

According to provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals of Bosnia every municipality is obliged to establish and finance shelters for stray animals as well as hygienic services to catch and transport stray animals to veterinary stations and shelters. Two very important laws were legislated in 2010: laws on the establishment of and conditions within shelters for stray animals and hygienic services. Both laws provide very strict and humane ways of establishing and maintaining of shelters and hygienic services. Bosnia and Herzegovina has one of the best animal welfare legislations in Europe, but the reality is a very different state of affairs and animals within these shelters and caught by the ‘dog catchers’ suffer greatly.

This decision of the Government of Canton Sarajevo is an illegal decision because there are no shelters that fulfil the conditions required by the law. Before a mass action of catching of dogs can be organised, legal shelters must be built and a register of pets must be established.

When authorities finance the catching and placing of stray dogs in illegal shelters, authorities are committing criminal offences according to Bosnian criminal laws. These offences include cruelty to and killing of animals, money laundering and abuse of an office or official authority.

Article 318 of Criminal Law of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cruelty towards and Killing of an Animal

(1) Whoever severely maltreats an animal or exposes it to unnecessary or long-lasting suffering, or causes it unnecessary pain, or unlawfully destroys animals’ habitats in a larger scale or within a wider area, or kills animals contrary to regulations, shall be punished by a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

(2) Whoever perpetrates the criminal offence referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article for the bet or other material gain, or if, by the criminal offence referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, the death of larger number of animals or protected species is caused, shall be punished by a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

In Bosnia Herzegovina there are many illegal shelters for stray animals managed by persons close to Bosnian authorities. Politically eligible persons construct so-called shelters for stray animals, which basically have the a function a concentration camp. The managers /owners of these shelters invoice for false spay/neuter programs, for food that will never be given to the animals; for veterinary examination and treatment, and at the end, a means for euthanasia.

P1020736Animals are tortured and killed in those shelters. Animals are beaten, cut, clubbed, and worse. Animals are not given adequate water, food, accommodation, they freeze or are exposed to extremely high temperatures. Animals are killed with wires, clubs, glass shreds, poison, firearms.

In the meantime, the local authorities finance people who own those shelters. In addition there are a number of illegal hygienic services which receive money from budgets from different municipalities. These hygienic services kill stray animals, but receive money for food, medications, treatment, catching of stray animals as well as their placement as if they are alive.

Praca shelter, the only registered and the biggest shelter in Bosnia has many problems. It is overcrowded, but at least people are allowed to donate food and medications for dogs, and rescuers are able help to maintain the shelter and provide food, but the situation is still not ideal by any means. This shelter should have been financed by all the municipalities of Canton Sarajevo, but after it was published how much of the budget money had been spent for illegal activities, the shelter was forgotten, but many new dogs were placed there. Apparently, dozens of new dogs are arriving at Praca shelter because of the mass catching of stray dogs in Sarajevo.

Gladnopuppies copyDogs caught are also being taken to the shelter of Gladno Polje in Sarajevo. Rescuers also do their best to take care of the dogs here, but the situation is also critical. More dogs are coming in all the time and the money that is allocated for the shelter by the municipality authorities is not in fact used to provide food other necessities for the dogs and the shelter. Those funds are laundered by establishment of the shelter and authorities.

Because of money laundering through illegal shelters, Bosnian authorities in fact want to have more stray dogs on the streets, not less as they publicise to the citizens. If there are increasing numbers of dogs on the streets, then more dogs can be killed/removed and more money can be stolen.

The paradox is that the veterinary inspection and the police, while being obliged to prevent and punish illegal dog catchers, in fact support them and protect their illegal activities.

gladnosadpuppyActivists are facing the biggest challenge ever and we are fighting against a corrupt system. Police officers and veterinary inspectors have filed a lot of minor offence warrants against activists who are saving animals and fighting against the dog catchers. Since the accusations are false and warrants are not filed in accordance with Bosnian law, activists will prove, before the court in Sarajevo, that the police officers and veterinary inspectors are involved in criminal activities.

The first thing the authorities and the establishment of “Rad” must do is to fulfil the legal obligation of transparency: which means that it must be possible for dogs caught by them to be visited and monitored by activists and citizens.

It is necessary to force the authorities to implement the law and provide a transparent and legal dog catching service and it is clear that we can only force them to do so by filing not only criminal reports but a private suit against all officials who are abusing their position.

The Bosnian law on Protection and Welfare of Animals is one of the best in Europe. In spite of this, a great body of evidence has been gathered and presented to prosecutors and the police about illegal activities. And while there are several on-going investigations into money laundering through illegal shelters and hygienic services, all these atrocities are still happening. It is one of the worst violations of the Criminal Code in Bosnian history.

International focus and help is the only solution for animals in Bosnia. It is very important that international animal welfare organisations, embassies as well as individuals press the Bosnian authorities to stop P1020644killing of animals.

The only way to protect animals in Bosnia is to force Bosnian authorities to actually implement their own laws. Rescuers and NGOs should be overtly involved in implementation of the law. There are so many projects and ideas that could be done in accordance with the law in order to control population of the stray animals in humane and effective ways. Those projects are available in both the short and long term, but the authorities do not avail themselves of these solutions.

The imperative is to stop the killing and to enable rescuers to have access to all shelters and dog catching services, not only is this a legal obligation of the authorities, but rescuers can actually assist with the monitoring of the shelters and looking after the animals. Authorities must take their responsibility for solving this problem.

Silence on many international subjects is something we all should worry about. Only public and international pressure can force authorities to start doing their job. People who wish to help Bosnian stray animals should inform their embassies, the international animal protection and welfare organisations and media, letting them know that the situation in Bosnia is not much different than in Romania and other countries where stray animals suffer enormous cruelty.

Rescuers in Bosnia cannot save all strays. So many more lives could be saved if the authorities are forced to implement their own laws.

HOW TO HELP: Please see this post What to do about Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo? which has information on how to locate your embassy, and a draft letter you can modify to send, to them. Please address also your letters to the Bosnian authorities here:

Prime minister of Canton Sarajevo, Dino Konaković,   premijer@vlada.ks.gov.ba
Minister of Utility infrastracture, Senad Hasanspahić ministar@mki.ks.gov.ba and
mki@mki.ks.gov.ba

You may add to your letter the following transcript of the speech Dalida Kozlic delivered during the session of the Assembly of Canton Sarajevo.

The problem of overpopulation of stray dogs is a direct consequence of the failure to implement, as well as a series of obstructions and misuse of the Act on the Protection and Welfare of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been lasting since 2009 when the law came into force. The Act on Protection Act and Welfare of Animals of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a lex specialis (the main legislation) in the field of treating animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Act, as well as related by-laws, are the main legal framework for all other laws and by-laws that are legislated by the legislative authorities at any level of organization of authority in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which regulate the relation, keeping and treatment of animals.

By attempting only a partial and non-systematic implementation of the Act, the agony of stray dogs on the streets as well as citizens will only widen further, and budget funds will be spent on non-purpose, illegal and unsystematic attempts to solve the problem. Instead of solving the problem with legal solutions, authorities have been financing the killing of stray animals in illegal pounds for years. Financing of illegal pounds is a violation of the provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, as well as a serious offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Failure to implement the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals is the result of a series of abuses and obstructions as well as of the authorities dealing only with consequences and not with the causes of the problem, and the causes are the abandonment of animals, irresponsible ownership and uncontrolled reproduction.

Increased numbers of dogs on the streets is always and only a direct result of irresponsible ownership, and failure to implement preventive measures that are provided by the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, such as punishing those who abandon animals, the full identification of ownership and pets, spay/neuter projects with vaccination and tagging of stray animals in an appropriate form and number, and education and information campaigns which are aimed to raise public awareness about the causes of the problem.

The Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals very clearly and precisely provides solutions for dealing with an overpopulation of stray animals in Bosnia. The first legal obligation of authorities is to build shelters for stray animals, whose purpose is to care for stray animals until they are adopted. Conditions that all shelters must fulfil are provided by the Ordinance on the establishment and the conditions that must be fulfilled by shelters for stray animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Another legal obligation of the authorities is the registration of ownership of animals.

For seven years the State Veterinary Office has not enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor has established a unified register of ownership of animals. Abandoning of animals by their owners is a direct generator of the problem, and the cause of abandoning of animals is the policy of impunity of people who abandon their animals. The only way to solve this problem is for municipalities and cantons to establish their own registries of ownership of animals, and this will significantly contribute to improving the situation in the canton, and then the entity and state level. Sarajevo Canton authorities have already been offered software for the registration of ownership of animals.

If the registry of tagged animals and owners of animals is established, it will enable the identification, prosecution and punishment of people who abandon the animals. The implementation of repressive measures will directly affect the consciousness of citizens and achieve the functions of general and special prevention and repression. Because of the absence of a register of breeders, illegal breeding causes an increasing of number of stray animals. Irresponsible or unregistered breeders and breeding contributes to increasing the number of stray animals.

Although it is their legal obligation, municipalities and cities refuse to finance the construction and maintenance of shelters for stray animals because of poor financial conditions, but we witness everyday improper and illegal spending of budget funds. Also false information about the cost of maintaining shelters is published. If violators of the provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals are punished, the funds raised from fines ought to be directed towards the construction and maintenance of shelters for stray animals. Also implementation of the Act of Protection and Welfare of Animals can be financed by funds collected from legally obligatory vaccination of dogs against rabies. Until shelters for stray animals are built, municipalities can assist by financing the feeding of stray animals, and authorities are obliged to implement spay/neuter projects.

If the shelters for stray animals, which must be “centres for treatment and adopting of stray animals,” are built and maintained in accordance with state regulations and law, and if there is an appropriate policy for establishing and managing shelters, the cost will be low. Quality education and raising awareness of the citizens will mean an increase in the percentage of adoption of abandoned animals.

Hygienic services are directly related to the existence of shelters for stray animals and because of this, the establishment of hygienic services cannot be an independent measure to solve the problem and to decrease the population of stray animals. Hygienic services must be established in accordance with the provisions of the law on the establishment and the conditions that hygienic services must fulfil in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The purpose of a hygienic service is capturing and transport of stray animals to veterinary stations and shelters. Certainly the establishment of a legal hygienic services is necessary, but hygienic services cannot exist and work without implementing all the other legal obligations of the authorities, especially without building shelters. If hygienic services work without implementing all the provisions and measures provided by the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, those services do not solve the problem and they are perfect grounds for different abuses and misuses of the laws. The working of hygienic service of Public company “Rad” Ltd. without full implementation of Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals represents an improper and illegal spending of budget funds.

Only by full implementation of Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, misuse and illegal killing in shelters and hygienic services can be prevented. Also, all responsible authorities such as Veterinary Office, Veterinary inspection, authorised official veterinarians, police, etc., must be involved in the implementation of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, and it is their legal obligation. Authorities have failed to fulfil their legal obligations and many authorities that are responsible for implementation of the Act have actually violated the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals. Such illegal behaviour must be punished and prevented.

Preventing of abuse, which are particularly related to the fact that stray dogs can “ disappear” is only possible by consistent implementation of all the measures stipulated by the Act on the protection and welfare of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the maximum commitment and legal responsibility for the implementation of the Law on the protection and welfare of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and these are the SVO, Inspectorates of veterinary inspection, an authorized official veterinarians, police officers and others. Such engagement is so far absent even in many of the cases which are violations of the law by those responsible for its implementation.

You should be aware that the partial and manipulating misuse of Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, which has been in practice so far, only makes an even greater and longer-lasting problem. The problem of overpopulation of stray dogs in Sarajevo Canton can be solved by the registration of ownership of dogs, engaging a certified trainer for the protection of animals to educate people, assistance in developing of a strategy to solve the problem of stray animals and finally the building self-sustaining shelters for stray animals.

Without complete and consistently implementing of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, the problem of overpopulation of stray animals will not be solved. It is important to end the illegal practice of partial implementation of the law which is a criminal offence and which causes the problem to become even more complicated and difficult.

10006087_10203823803458316_4186946809907017188_o
Also there is a petition you can sign, but it is our experience these petitions do not make much difference. It is better to send emails and letters as suggested above.

Two videos from AWABosnia’s visit to Sarajevo in 2014:

 


Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?
Animal Advocates Assaulted in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there. Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, 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: donations@awabosnia.org. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

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 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. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary

13425_10206975866062246_592115921099283898_nThe following is a documentary by the French director and journalist Julien Tridat who investigated the issue of the infamous ‘dog catchers’ of P.E. “Lokum” of Novi Grad who Dalida Kozlic and others have been trying to bring to justice. Dalida and other rescuers are interviewed in the film:

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 14.51.56

The blurb to the video says: “Since the end of the war in Bosnia in 1995, it is estimated that more than 100,000 stray dogs were killed in Sarajevo. While taking care of abandoned animals was not the center of attention Bosnian authorities during the rebuilding of the ruined city, in recent years, under pressure from the European Union, they introduced strict rules relating to the treatment of stray dogs. However, the situation is not in conformity with what is on paper: Activists for animal care accuse authorities of brutality, corruption and abuse of animals. French journalist Julien Trdat has researched this gripping story of Sarajevo.”

The film has English voice over for the most part, but sadly not for what some of the most notorious killers of dogs said when interviewed (eg Mustafa Mrkulić), but the voice over explains the situation very well.



Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?
Animal Advocates Assaulted in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there. Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, 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: donations@awabosnia.org. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

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 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. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.