AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO

CULLtureBelow is a translation of an article published last June. The horrific truth is that nothing has changed since then and the mass removal and killing of dogs is happening on a daily basis without regard for the existing law or any accountability. In fact this week, “Av-Mau” animal protection organization issued a statement and a warning that the public company “Lokom,” under control of Novi Grad Sarajevo County, in an attempt  to delegitimize local animal welfare activists and to deflect attention from their ongoing and illegal removal of stray dogs from Sarajevo streets has submitted a formal request to the Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to curtail the work of local animal welfare organizations in Sarajevo by removing them from the official registry. If the Ministry of Justice agree, then the strays of Sarajevo are without advocates… the situation is dire.

Masovno ubijanje životinja u Sarajevu” – “The Mass Killing of Animals in Sarajevo” on Aurora.hr, author , June 2014:

Last week, a letter from a group of residents of Sarajevo municipality of Novi Grad and Vogosca was sent to the addresses of numerous editorial boards and diplomatic missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia to draw attention to the mass killing of animals in their city and to ask the recipients to send request to the BiH authorities to stop this terrible practice.

Based on assertions made in the letter, massive illegal activities are taking place in the center of Sarajevo, and with the “blessing of the local authorities,” these activities are conducted by the company Lokom, which is not only carrying out these activities contrary to the provision of applicable laws and regulations, but performs its terrible job in front of the public, including children. The letter states that thus far, “intervention of international organizations and diplomatic missions” has not helped and that after a number of amendments to the Animal Protection and Welfare law, “Sarajevo is still swimming in blood because of the slaughter of dogs in all municipalities, particularly in Novi Grad and Center, as well as Vogosca, Ilijas, Stari Grad.”

Sarajevo residents are asking all who received this letter to respond in a manner in which they can to ensure that the responsible party – the company Lokom – is held accountable criminally and for infractions for the activities “that they are committing in the most brutal way, killing animals in their vehicles and using the most brutal killing methods such as killing animals with shovels, picks, and Domestos [bleach].”

The authors bitterly noted that it seems that it is the eternal destiny of Sarajevo and its residents that “not a single generation lives without witnessing monstrous human nature” and further stated that they, “as citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are deeply aware of the problem of stray dogs and that they are willing to participate in all solutions to the problem of stray dogs that does not include torture and killing of any animal species.” Therefore, they are asking for help in order to spread the word about Sarajevo’s brutality against animals to reach the legislative and political bodies that are allowing this terrible practice and to help “save the lives of those who are innocent and cannot speak for themselves.”

In the remainder of the letter they cited an example of an incident which occurred a few days ago in Vogosca. At 127 Josancka Street, a dog was caught; a grey female with an ear tag, which means that she was sterilized, vaccinated against rabies and cleaned of endoparasites, and was a lovable and peaceful dog. She was taken in an unknown direction, but she never arrived to the place where they said she would be taken to. Concerned residents went to all shelters and veterinary stations in the Sarajevo Canton, but according to employees of these facilities, the dog was never received and the Lokom employees never entered any of the facilities. On that day, the residents contacted the police who arrived on the scene to collect statements. This entire incident was photo-documented, and there is also video-documentation given that they expect Lokom’s management and their political cronies to negate and disavow the entire incident. Sarajevo residents also noted in the letter that the hygiene service Lokom works contrary to provisions of law and without formal authority.

According to their assertions, the same problem is occurring in other Sarajevo municipalities where “dogs are being caught and brutally killed day and night,” and further claim that company Lokom is supported “for political reasons” by mayors of Novi Grad, Vogosca, Centar and Stari Grad. In conclusion, they warned dog owners that regardless of their ability to demonstrate that their dog is vaccinated and chipped, to remove their dogs from all public spaces because Lokom employees have repeatedly picked up those dogs and killed them on the spot, while dog owners cannot do anything. “If the team of self-proclaimed dog catchers from Lokom considers your dog to be aggressive, they can take him…pick him up and take away, those are the orders given by their bosses and they are sent into the field to assess on their own which dog is aggressive or not.”

First published in English on Journalists for Animals. For recent stories about animal abuse in Bosnia please see their Week in Bosnia page.

What can you do?

You can email Novi Grad County officials in Sarajevo to demand that they stop the illegal and inhumane mass killing of stray dogs: ngsa@bih.net.ba

But, please also email your own embassy in BiH: how to make a difference, from Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH:

“The only way to force our political establishment to stop illegal practices is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies. Activities of foreign activists and organisations should be focused on writing letters to embassies of UK, USA, Germany, Italy and France etc. Foreign politicians are able to make a difference, not our own.

Below is a draft letter you can modify to use. Please be sure to address it to a specific person and to sign it, including your contact details. You can also send it to your MP and MEP. 

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

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Dear XXX

Millions of EU citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty, and look to the EU to help improve animal welfare across Europe. 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.

Animal activists and citizens in BiH are documenting the illegal rounding up and killing of strays. In addition there are countless dog shelters in the country that are documented by animal rescue organisations and activists to be inhumane and ‘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 animal welfare laws of the country are upheld and implemented, and that dog shelters be monitored to ensure that the conditions are improved and that the dogs there are safe, 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 services (who are employed to rid the streets of strays), 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.

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. I believe the allocation for 2012 was around €107.8m. 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.

The European Parliament states that “The EU has among the world’s highest standards of animal welfare”. The Eurogroup for Animal Welfare (http://eurogroupforanimals.org/ )is strongly urging the European Commission to adopt adequate measures to ensure that all pet animals are properly treated to protect their health and welfare. If it is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s wish to join the EU it would seem that until their government takes crimes against defenceless, sentient animals seriously they will not be a fit country to be accepted into the EU.

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,

________________________________________________

gladnosadpuppy

Related articles:

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.

Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo

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The Government of Canton Sarajevo has issued a decision ruling that the dog catching service of P. E. “Rad” be formed on 11th September, 2014, with the aim of removing aggressive, ill and elderly strays from the streets of Sarajevo, and “euthanising” them.

This particular dog catchers’ service was active until 2009, using catching, torturing and killing methods similar to those that had been used in concentration camps that had existed in Bosnia during the war (1992 – 1995).

The Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Herzegovina came into force in April 2009, and it was then that this dog catching service was shut down: the Veterinary Inspection of Canton Sarajevo issued a decision ruling that the dog catchers of P. E. “Rad” must stop working immediately, because its methods were illegal and contrary to the provisions of the Animal Protection and Welfare Act. 

However, while this dog catching service and the people enacting the crimes were criminally responsible for crimes, no charges were ever brought.

The recent decision to restore the dog catching service of P. E. “Rad” means that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has abused the official authority because they have breached the Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

What will the restoration of this dog catching service mean for stray dogs and for citizens?

1378539_639842482705076_1690898482_nIf dog catchers start working, many of the stray dogs will be killed in Sarajevo, using inhumane methods that are cheap: untrained dog catchers, wire nooses, ‘euthanasia’ by crushing skulls, injections of bleach (cheaper than the prescription drugs used in other parts of the world for this purpose) and other torturous methods. Hundred thousands of Euros for this ‘programe’ will be allocated, but you can ask yourself where this money will, in fact, be used.

If these activities proceed, citizens will meet dog catchers and witness their activities. Many people who have already witnessed the atrocities committed by dog catchers were traumatised, especially children.

This situation is illegal, it is against the constitution, it is a criminal offence.

1379839_10202471748897297_1525466443_nAnimal welfare activists want to use all legal means to end this horror, to save stray dogs and to make sure the government implements the existing  Animal Protection and Welfare Act.

They will bring legal action against the illegal activities, they will document the activities and will petition against the decision. They are also trying to educate everyone in their country to the truth of what is happening.

If you can help with legal fees and other associated costs for activists please send a donation to donations@awabosnia.org and mark for ‘legal fees etc’.

Also, Journalists for Animals needs support document the situation and tell the world what is happening. There is a special YouCaring for donations for this.

Petitions:
Stop massive killing of dogs in Sarajevo
Petition to save Bosnia’s stray dogs! Please sign!
Also see the petitions on the Petitions page.

Media articles:
Criminal Charges Pressed Against Acting Prime Minister in The Government of Sarajevo Due to Forming Illegal Dog Catching Service
Bosnia: Sarajevo creates unit ‘to catch stray dogs’
U državama u kojima ne vlada zakon prava, vlada zakon linča
Stranka za BiH: Odluka Vlade KS o uklanjanju napuštenih pasa je neustavna i nezakonita
Sarajevo: Podnesena kaznena prijava zbog formiranja ilegalnog šintorskog servisa

 

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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 as a ‘gift’. 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.

LONDON PROTEST AGAINST SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA AND ROMANIA

1513314_10151810289327680_654888687_nYesterday, Saturday the 11th January, a protest was staged outside of the BBC in London. People of all ages came from all over England, and also from Ireland, Poland, Wales. Many brought their rescue dogs. A number of key activists for both Romania and Bosnia Herzegovina were able to attend.

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Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 17.07.07Peter Egan, actor and animal advocate who is actively involved with All Dogs Matter, a voluntary dog rescue organisation based in London, attended and made a speech. Peter and his wife Myra own several rescue dogs and have adopted a rescue dog from Bosnia Herzegovina, from rescuer Milena Malesevic. Peter sat cuddling some of the rescued dogs while he gave his inspiring speech, it was very touching. He also read a piece from Vic Ferguson, who was a NATO soldier in Sarajevo in 1995 and 1996, and who is now actively supporting the campaign against dog abuse and cruelty in BiH. Vic is responsible for creating the group Phoenix Rising, a non-profit organisation set up to support sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress through animal therapy.

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1528503_10151810294152680_850086573_nThis gorgeous puppy, recently rescued from Romania, was a big hit at the protest, such a sweetheart that everyone wanted to cuddle.

Official press release for the protest:

PROTEST AGAINST DOG KILLING IN ROMANIA AND BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA

UK citizens Elaine Renton and Mandy Kataria have organized a protest on Saturday, January 11th, 2014 from 1:00 until 3 p.m. outside the BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place, London, to raise awareness about the mass extermination of strays in Romania and Bosnia Herzegovina.

If the Bosnia Herzegovina Parliament’s proposed amendments to current animal welfare legislation are passed, a legal framework will be introduced that will allow for thousands of stray dogs to be caught, held for 15 days and then killed if not claimed, including the more than 3000 stray dogs who have been sterilised by Dogs’ Trust UK in June 2013.

Dogs’ Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, has been running an intervention programme in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo since 2012, where there are an estimated 12,000 stray dogs. Dog’s Trust wrote: “Euthanasia will be completely ineffective at reducing the numbers of dogs being abandoned.”

Activists in Bosnia Herzegovina state that the proposed amendments to the law are intended to mask illegal killing of strays and other ongoing violations to current legislation, including misuse of funds intended for dogs in public shelters and for spay-neuter programs.

For Bosnia there is some hope: the Constitutional-Legal Committee of the House of Peoples have refused the amendments, and instead have recommended that an action plan for the implementation of the existing law be instituted. However the opinion of this committee was neither united, nor is obligatory and activists maintain that pressure must be continued to ensure delegates will respect this decision during the next Parliament voting session.

In Romania, however, the Constitutional Court passed a law last September allowing the euthanasia of dogs after 14 days spent in dog shelters if not adopted or perished before this time. The approval and implementation of this law has produced worldwide condemnation and a perception that Romania is a country which introduces medieval practices and governs in a draconian mode.

“Euthanasia” in dog shelters in Romania and Bosnia Herzegovina is purported to be carried out by: poisoning, strangling; burning alive; beaten to death; and injecting with bleach, vinegar, paint thinner and other chemical substances.

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For more information on what is happening in Romania, please see Occupy For Animals, where there are many posts on the situation, and Rita Pal’s articles in the Huffington Post. She has also written a piece on what is happening in Bosnia Herzegovina: Canine Cruelty in Bosnia.

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Please join the next protest in London, FRIDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2014,13:00 – 15:00 outside the BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA EMBASSY, 5-7 LEXHAM GARDENS LONDON W8 5JJ

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NEAREST TUBE – GLOUCESTER ROAD or EARLS COURT.
Google Map here and a screenshot of the area above.

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Regarding the voting on the proposed amendments to the Animal Welfare Act of BiH, we are waiting to hear when the next vote will be. We believe sometime at the end of January. Please read this post:  One Step Forward for the Strays of Bosnia Herzegovina!
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All information is in the related posts listed below. If there is anything further we can do I will keep you updated. Please help by keep writing to your MEPs, Embassies, media etc. No matter what the outcome of the voting is, the situation in BiH has been bad for strays for so long, including numerous and continued transgressions of the existing animal welfare law, we just have to keep at it, keep uncovering illegalities and keep campaigning to ensure the humane treatment of all animals in the country.

As stated in other posts, the activists need our support with donations to help them campaign. Even if the law goes through, there is much they can do: all shelters need to be closely monitored to try to ensure that any ‘euthanisation’ as required by these proposed amendments is humane and that all other aspects of the Animal Welfare Law are implemented. Any amount will help, no matter how small.

There is a YouCaring fundraiser especially for this:  https://www.youcaring.com/kill-law. Activists in BiH are doing their best to campaign against these amendments and to educate everyone in their country to the truth of what is happening.

Please sign and share the petitions!

dogwithpuppies

RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

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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 . 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 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.