New Risk of the Law Changing: the Strays of Bosnia Will Suffer!

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 18.58.49Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer and activist writes:

The Bosnian War was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. Casualties were not only people. Animals also were casualties and suffered 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 only legislated and entered into force by Parliamentary Assembly in 2009. Cruelty towards and killing animals is a criminal offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This Law regulates the responsibility of humans regarding the protection and welfare of animals in terms of breeding/owning; providing shelter and food; protection from cruelty; the well-being of animals during authorised slaughter, ensuring animals are not exposed to stress during transportation, wildlife protection, treatment of abandoned animals, pets and laboratory animals, establishing ethics committees and expert councils/boards, as well as conducting the supervision of the implementation of this Law and penalty measures for all violators of this Law.

The government of Canton Sarajevo has sent an official request to Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina to enact amendments to the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals. The prime minister and ministers in the government of Canton Sarajevo demand that article 14 (euthanasia) of the Act is changed. This article allows euthanasia of stray animals only because of veterinary reasons. It is prohibited to kill stray dogs in shelters. Amendments to this article would allow authorities to kill healthy stray animals in shelters if the animals are not adopted.

CULLtureThe proposal of this amendment is not in legislation procedure yet, but we are expecting that one of the leading national parties, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) will accept this request and start legal procedure to enact these “KILL” amendments. Dino Konakovic, the prime minister of Canton Sarajevo, is a member of the SDA.

As you all know, we had a similar situation in 2013, when rescuers and animal welfare advocates managed to stop the legal procedure to enact a “KILL LAW.” We need your support again.

The Bosnian Act on the Protection and Welfare of Animals is one of the best in Europe but no one is interested in this: corrupt authorities are often involved in the illegal killing of stray and wild animals as a way of money laundering.

Stray animals are victims of notorious cruelty. Politically eligible persons construct so-called shelters for stray animals. These shelters are no better than concentration camps, and the authorities invoice for spay/neuter programs that they do not undertake, as well as invoicing for for food is never given to the animals. They invoice for veterinary examinations and treatment, and at the end, for means for euthanasia. In reality, the stray animals are tortured, and killed in worst possible ways. All this represents a series of violations of criminal law as well as the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While these atrocities are occurring, local authorities are also financing people who own these shelters. It is money laundering. Also many stray animals are abused and killed on the streets.  Authorities do not nothing to find and punish animal abusers.

10892019_955233547821769_7086032730255842381_nThese proposed amendments, allowing the euthanasia of healthy stray animals, has as their purpose a means to conceal the massacre of stray animals that is already occurring.

Should these amendments be in Parliamentary legislation procedure it will be critical to apply pressure to stop the amendments. International focus and support would be the only solution. International animal welfare organisations, embassies, media, as well as individuals will have to press BiH authorities, insisting they do not change the law, but rather to implement it. The authorities must seek out legal and humane ways to solve the problem of over population of stray dogs in BiH.

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.

P1020736Failure 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.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-21-39-28Finally, 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.

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 thus help solve the situation. 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, 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 should finance the feeding of stray animals, and authorities are obliged to implement spay/neuter projects.

14225350_1114575611942665_3682593145194114853_nIf the shelters for stray animals, which must be “centres for care 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 regarding decreasing the population of stray animals. Hygienic services must be established in accordance with the provisions of the laws 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.

22Only by full implementation of the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals, will misuse and illegal killing in shelters and by hygienic services 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.

Prevention of abuse, which is 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 for 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 to resolve.

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Please join Dalida’s Facebook group and AWABosnia Facebook group.

Related posts:
Dogs Have Become Public Enemy Number One
When Bosnian Activists do the Work of the Authorities
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT CONTINUES
KILL-LAW DEBATE IN BOSNIA
BOSNIA ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT KILL LAW!
THE HORROR SHELTERS OF BOSNIA – SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend

 

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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.

The responsibility of an animal rescuer

By Dalida Kozlic

Not so long time ago, I wrote a post about animal rescuers who have been doing the work of Bosnian authorities.

12803266_1132172030149396_1481751104226047188_nSummary is that NGOs, rescuers, activists and ordinary people have had to find a way to save as many animals as possible. Because of this awful and paradoxical situation, many private shelters  – kennels – called “pensions” have been built in Bosnia.  Rescuers are forced, at great financial cost, to take their rescues to these pensions since they cannot keep a lot of dogs at their home.  Many rescuers have in fact turned their homes into shelters, but the difficulties here are enormous and there is a limited number they can keep.

When a Bosnian rescuer finds a wounded or abused stray dog or cat, they must take all responsibility if they are to rescue the animal: they must take the dog or cat to the vet on their own and they have to pay veterinary costs and costs of pensions in order to save the lives of these strays. This is the only way to save stray dogs and cats in this country, and yet all these things are actually the obligation of the Bosnian authorities. But, not only do rescuers do the authorities’ job, many of them are actually attacked by the Bosnian authorities because every time a rescuer saves the life of a stray animal, the rescuer is actually preventing the authorities from catching and then killing that animal – which means they are preventing them from pocketing money. Bosnian authorities use public dog shelters and dog catching services to launder money from the budget by killing stray animals and then pocketing money that is in fact meant for food and veterinary services for these animals. The more dogs the rescuers rescue, the fewer animals the authorities can use in these illegal money-making activities.

12809714_10207668953555492_3787774917193158948_nAfter 15 years of rescue work and hundreds of saved and adopted animals, I can tell you that running an animal rescue is not an easy job. There are a staggering number of animals who need help every day and if a rescuer can or cannot intervene, it’s often a case of life or death for the animal.

People often tell me they can’t visit animal shelters in Bosnia because it makes them sad. Animal shelters make Bosnian rescuers sad, too, but we refuse to let our emotions get in the way of saving lives. We understand we can’t save them all but we can and do make a difference. Alone, rescuers have shed many tears for animals they can’t save. But they get up the next day and get back into the ring as they fight for those creatures who can’t speak for themselves.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 17.34.33The number of lives we can save is dictated by the amount of funds raised and every adoption is a victory and a joy.

Responsibility of the animal rescuers is huge. Thousands of lives depend on us and our ability to find places to keep them safe, provide a veterinary care and find right forever homes.

Responsibility to save a being’s life is the biggest responsibility in the world. If we fail to provide the right care for saved animals, we fail to save their lives. There is a famous quote saying: “In rescuing animals I lost my mind, but I found my soul“. This is an absolute truth.

Rescue isn’t a verb, it is a promise that every rescuer gives animals.

MalaYou must make sure that whatever actions you take are in the best interest of the animals, and when you live in Bosnia it is very difficult to have the best solutions if you want to save a dog or cat’s life. Rescuers are often forced to choose between saving lives and finding finances to pay for pensions and veterinary care needed for their existing rescues. But it is a price we all pay for the situation in our country.

Rescuing doesn’t end once an animal is out of a death situation. It is important to take the time necessary with each animal and make sure that all the proper steps are taken to find them a loving, permanent home. Rescuing animals is a very high stress endeavour. Caring for them requires 24 hour a day, 7 days a week and there is an additional huge stress because of the fundraising needed to be done to do the work and to keep the animals safe. Fundraising is almost a full time job. It is important not to underestimate the amount of care and the level of commitment that is necessary to save animals in Bosnia.

As rescuers we know that every time we save an animal there is the possibility that this animal can make a profound impact on one person’s life. We dream of a day when our services won’t be needed, where there is a loving home waiting for every dog and cat in the world.

By Dalida Kozlic
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NOTE: If you want to help Dalida Kozlic with funding to assist her to continue her rescue work,  her PayPal account is: eldar.kozlic1@gmail.com – or you can donate via AWABosnia as below – just be sure to mark your donation for ‘Dalida Kozlic.’

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

2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
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!

_____________________________________________

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.

When Bosnian Activists do the Work of the Authorities

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 23.12.14

By Dalida Kozlic

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 during the war. Bosnia and Herzegovina did not have the Animal Protection and Welfare Act until 2009. This law was legislated and entered into force by Parliamentary Assembly in 2009 and now torturing and killing animals is a criminal offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Stray dogs have always been killed in Bosnia. Before the legislation of the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals in 2009, organised groups of hunters killed stray dogs in all cities, even in the middle of day. It was still illegal, but no one wanted to investigate and punish the hunters because they received a lot of money from Bosnian municipalities for their ‘work’.

The Bosnian Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals is one of the best in Europe but no one is interested in this fact.

Since corrupt Bosnian authorities have decided to steal public money, some citizens have decided to implement the animal protection legislation on their own. As with many countries in the world, there are many people who love and save animals, but one thing is different in Bosnia: not only do rescuers save animals, they are doing the job that the Bosnian authorities should be doing. The authorities are obliged to establish legal shelters and hygienic services for stray dogs, but since they have not done this, rescuers are doing these things, actually they are doing whatever is legislated by the law, but on their own.

People started saving animals long before the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals was legislated. People saved stray animals from hunters and dog catchers. After the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals was legislated, everyone thought things would be different. Of course no one expected a miracle but people thought we Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 23.13.40all would have an opportunity to see animals saved in accordance with law.

Unfortunately, just like everywhere else in Bosnia, authorities started stealing money designated for stray animals, and the number of stray animals has been increasing.

NGOs, rescuers, activists and ordinary people have had to find a way to save as many animals as possible. Because of this awful and paradoxical situation, many private shelters called “pensions” have been built in Bosnia.  Rescuers are forced, at great financial cost, to take their rescues to these pensions since they cannot keep a lot of dogs at their home, and many rescuers have also turned their homes into shelters. Also, rescuers are having to catch wounded or abused dogs and take them to the vet on their own; they have to pay veterinary costs and costs of pensions in order to save the lives of stray animals. This is the only way to save stray dogs and cats in this country, and yet all these things are actually the obligation of the Bosnian authorities, but not only do rescuers do the authorities’ job, many of them are actually attacked by the Bosnian authorities because every time a rescuer saves the life of a stray animal, the rescuer is actually preventing the authorities from catching and killing that animal, and preventing them from pocketing money for these illegal actions.

If you want to know how, there is an explanation…

Corrupt authorities are often involved in the illegal killing of stray and wild animals due to basic money laundering. Politically eligible persons construct so-called public shelters for stray animals and then they invoice the government for false spay/neuter programs, as well as for the food that will in Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 23.13.16fact never be given to  the animals, and for veterinary examinations and treatment, and at the end, the means for euthanasia. Animals are tortured and killed in those shelters constantly and money is taken from the budget.

This situation is actually very bad, because the only way to protect animals in Bosnia is to force the Bosnian authorities to implement the existing laws. Rescuers and NGOs should be a part of this process, helping the authorities implement the laws. International support and pressure is the only way to force our authorities to stop killing stray animals and stealing money, as well as to force them to implement all the measures that are provided by the law.

There are so many projects and ideas that could be done in accordance to the law in order to control population of the stray animals in humane and effective ways. In this way all animals could be saved. Those projects could be focussed on both the short and the long term.

The imperative is to stop killing the animals, enable rescuers to have access to all public shelters and dog catching services, which in fact the  legal obligation of the authorities, but also in this way rescuers can help maintain the shelters and help the animals. Authorities must take up their responsibility for solving this problem.

Unfortunately, the silence of many international subjects is something that 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, animal protection and welfare organisations and media and tell them that things in Bosnia are no different than in Romania, that people who save animals cannot save them all, not even close, and that many more lives can be saved if our authorities are forced to implement their own laws.

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

2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
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!

_____________________________________________

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.

ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – HOW TO HELP, PART TWO

1002479_10202427765278234_101295064_n

The EU Eurogroup is meeting tomorrow, 6th November. If you haven’t already sent an email to all the Eurogroup members about the proposed amendments to the BiH animal welfare law please do so now! The 7th is the date of the second sitting of this law, there is no time to lose. Details of the meeting:

Putting Animal Welfare at the heart of the European elections
Eurogroup for Animals
Wednesday, 6 November 2013 from 11:00 to 13:00 (GMT)
Brussels, Belgium

Eurogroup members to write to:

President: Dan Jørgensen  (S&D – Denmark)
dan.jorgensen@europarl.europa.eu
Honorary President: Carl Schlyter (Greens/EFA – Sweden)
carl.schlyter@europarl.europa.eu
Honorary Secretary: Marit Paulsen (ALDE – Sweden)
marit.paulsen@europarl.europa.eu

Vice Presidents:

Kriton Arsenis (S&D – Greece)
kriton.arsenis@europarl.europa.eu
Jacqueline Foster (ECR – United Kingdom)
jacqueline.foster@europarl.europa.eu
Nadja Hirsch  
(ALDE – Germany)
nadja.hirsch@europarl.europa.eu
Elisabeth Jeggle 
(EPP – Germany)
elisabeth.jeggle@europarl.europa.eu
Jörg Leichtfried (S&D – Austria)
joerg.leichtfried@europarl.europa.eu
Kartika Tamara Liotard (GUE/NGL – Netherlands)
kartikatamara.liotard@europarl.europa.eu
David Martin (S&D -United Kingdom)
david.martin@europarl.europa.eu
Sirpa Pietikäinen  (EPP – Finland)
sirpa.pietikainen@europarl.europa.eu
Raül Romeva i Rueda (Greens/EFA – Spain)
raul.romevairueda@europarl.europa.eu
Daciana Sârbu  (S&D, Romania)
dacianaoctavia.sarbu@europarl.europa.eu
Michèle Striffler (EPP – France)
michele.striffler@europarl.europa.eu
Janusz Wojciechowski (ECR – Poland)
janusz.wojciechowski@europarl.europa.eu

You can also write to the Italian members, but change the letter below to thank them for making a public stand against the amendments:

Cristiana Muscardini (EPP – Italy)
cristiana.muscardini@europarl.europa.eu
Andrea Zanoni (ALDE – Italy)
andrea.zanoni@europarl.europa.eu

Draft letter, please address each member by name and sign it with your name. Please personalise if possible:

Dear

As I’m sure you are aware, Bosnia Herzegovina is planning amendments to their Animal Welfare Act, amendments which will have dire consequences for stray dogs and cats. The proposal for these changes has already been legislated in the first reading in House of Representatives of Parliamentary Assembly. 18 representatives were for changes of the Law, and 12 representatives were against changes of the Law. 11 representatives were not present at the session of House of Representatives.

Further amendments can be proposed by 7th November, 2013.

The Legal – Constitutional Committee of the House of Representatives shall initiate debate on the proposed law and submit amendments on the 14th November. The second reading of the proposed changes is scheduled for 20th November, so time is short.

I request that you strongly urge the BiH government not to change the law but rather to start enforcing it. The current BiH Animal Welfare Act is excellent, it is just not enforced.

So far, only the Italian Government has intervened on behalf of the stray dogs of BiH. The Italian Ambassador in Bosnia, Mr Ruggero Corrias, asked BiH politicians to start enforcing the existing law, not to amend it. (Please see: http://www.lastampa.it/2013/10/24/societa/lazampa/bosnia-italia-chiede-al-parlamento-di-non-uccidere-i-cani-randagi-1wZsHQNIoyP6Rr1e0aKywI/pagina.html.)

I ask you to follow the Italian example.

If proposed changes become effective, euthanasia would be performed within 15 days from a stray dog’s arrival in a shelter. While this may sound like an effective way to deal with a burgeoning stray animal population, typically in BiH, ‘euthanasia’ is performed by clubbing, injections of bleach, and other similarly torturous methods. Of course, there are more humane, internationally acceptable and proven methods to control the stray dog population, in particular Trap-Neuter-Return. International animal welfare groups have been assisting in Bosnia Herzegovina as well as in other countries in the region, to control the street dog population, and there are many examples of success. For example Dogs Trust completed a sterilisation program in June 2013, sterilizing 3000 dogs. If the new amendments to the Animal Welfare Act are implemented, it’s highly likely these 3000 dogs will be taken to shelters and ‘euthanised’. Also, please note that funds poured into government shelters are commonly misused, with none of the funds actually going to the care of the dogs.

Right now Praca Shelter in Sarajevo is undergoing investigation regarding how funds – BAM 1,000,000.00 (€500,000 or $ 700,000) – were actually used (recent visits to this shelter once again show absolutely horrific conditions). It is common knowledge amongst animal activists in Bosnia Herzegovina that public shelters are used for money laundering. If the proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Law are implemented, it will simply mean it is easier for the shelters to continue an influx of dogs, killing them in the cheapest way possible (not humanely) and using the funds elsewhere, not for the dogs.

The world is watching Bosnia Herzegovina. Please join with Italy and animal welfare advocates to publicly condemn BiH’s proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Act and demand that they enforce the provisions of the law.

With Kind Regards,

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As stated in other posts, the activists need our support with donations to help them in the next days to campaign. Any amount will help, no matter how small. There is a YouCaring fundraiser especially for this:  https://www.youcaring.com/kill-law.

Please sign and share the petitions.

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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.

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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.

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This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Go here to find out how to help them.  Money is needed for food, medicine and foster housing. Even just one dollar or one euro will help.