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.

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

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I have been asked by the lead activists in Bosnia-Herzegovina to request that the following letters be written and sent by Friday the 15th of November or earlier (the Constitutional-Legal Committee of the House of Representatives in BiH will initiate debate on the proposed law and submit any amendments on the 14th November).

Letters need to be sent from UK, EU and USA to your UK/USA Embassies in Sarajevo requesting action from their side in persuading the BiH Parliament not to vote in the new amendments to the Animal Welfare Act. We need to have as many letters as possible sent to the embassies by Friday. I know some of you have already done this, but please, do it again.

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Below is one draft letter. Please sign it, and please personalise it if you can, or use parts of it to create your own. It would be much better if they receive different letters rather than the same ones!

Some email addresses of Embassies are below the letter.

Dear Sir, Madam,

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 the BiH 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.

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. 

The Legal – Constitutional Committee of the House of Representatives in Bosnia Herzegovina 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.

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 existing Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia-Herzegovina is, as I mentioned before, 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. (For a full translation of the existing law, please download this PDF https://inmemoryofvucko.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/lawonanimal-protectionbosniaherzegovina.pdf)

The current law makes euthanising stray dogs illegal, – except a) when the animal cannot be cured and keeping it alive would only cause unnecessary pain and further suffering; b) the animal has reached such an old age, its vital bodily functions are terminating; c) the animal suffers from an incurable and/or infectious disease, or such a disease can represent a threat to humans; d) the animal is dangerous; e) the animal is in agony. (The truth is, currently dogs are ‘euthanised’ randomly and seriously disregarding the above laws, and in highly inhumane ways as mentioned above: clubbing, injections of bleach, starvation, burning, buried alive.)

In addition, the current Animal Protection and Welfare Act states that every city and town has to build shelters for stray animals. All shelters for stray animals have to provide a NO KILL policy 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.

What is crucial to relate to the BiH authorities regarding the proposed amendments to the law is that “Catch & kill” or “catch & incarcerate” policies have failed in numerous other countries. Cities that have successfully managed and curbed their stray animal population were those that opted for a “catch & return” policy. Studies on management of stray dog and cat population are unanimous in that euthanisation is NOT the most effective way to control populations. Euthanasia deals only with the symptoms and not the cause of the problem. It is expensive, inhumane and will not provide a permanent solution. Studies have shown that TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) and CNR (Catch-Neuter-Return) programmes are far more effective (and far more humane) than euthanasia to reduce the street animal population.

A change to the law will also mean extraordinary wastage of funds and time involved in previous spay-neuter programs of strays, most notably that of the UK Dogs Trust program mentioned above.

It’s important also to note that deliberate animal abuse is rife in Bosnia Herzegovina, and many international animal welfare organizations (Animal Kind International, for example) cite Bosnia Herzegovina as the country with the most instances of horrific animal cruelty and suffering. There is the famous case in Ilidža in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, where two men put a rocket explosive firework into a young German Shepherd’s mouth and duct-taped his jaws shut, setting the rocket alight. The firework caused horrific injuries to the dog’s face, but did not kill him. He wandered about for five days before being finally rescued by animal welfare volunteers The dog had to be euthanized. Nearly 200,000 people signed these petitions asking the Bosnian and Herzegovinian authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice, but nothing was done. There has been a recent, similar atrocity, involving a young puppy.

There is clear evidence now that people who take pleasure in harming animals are also a potential danger to other people, especially children.

Any change to the Animal Protection and Welfare Act allowing ‘euthanisation’ of healthy dogs in shelters will certainly send a message to the populace that killing of dogs and cats is acceptable in all circumstances.

Millions of citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty. European citizens 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. Bosnia and Herzegovina are seeking admission, as you know.

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.

The issue of the proposed changes to the law must be addressed in the coming days. I would urge you please to raise the above issues with your representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in particular we urge you to help ensure that the Bosnia Herzegovina authorities implement internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray dog population control, and that resources be allocated to ensure such principles are followed: briefly, that the existing Animal Welfare Act be implemented rather than chipped away at, allowing for continued animal abuse.

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

Kind regards,

_____________________

WHERE TO SEND THE LETTER
Listing of some Embassies in Bosnia-Herzegovina:

American Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: bhopa@state.govconsularservicesba@state.gov

Australian Consulate in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: mirsada@prismresearch.ba

Austrian Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: sarajewo-ob@bmeia.gv.at

Belgian Consulate in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: Sarajevo@diplobel.fed.be
Belgian Embassy: sarajevo@diplobel.fed.be

British Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: ConsularEnquiries.sarajevo@fco.gov.uk
Canadian Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: bpest@international.gc.ca (note, this is in Hungary, seems that there isn’t a specific CDN embassy in Bosnia)

Croatian Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: croemb.sarajevo@mvpei.hr

Czech Embassy in Saravejo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: sarajevo@embassy.mzv.cz

Danish Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: sjjamb@um.dk

Embassy of Finland is situated in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Email: sanomat.lju@formin.fi

French Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: sarajevo.consulaire@diplomatie.gouv.fr

German Embassy is in Sarajevo 
E-Mail: info@sarajewo.diplo.de

Italian Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: amb.sarajevo@esteri.it

Japanese Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: japanbih@sx.mofa.go.jp

Dutch Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: sar@minbuza.nl, sar-ca@minbuza.nl

Norwegian Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: emb.sarajevo@mfa.no

Slovenian Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: vsa@gov.si, kbl@gov.si

Swedish Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Email: ambassaden.sarajevo-visum@foreign.ministry.se

Find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina

___________

As stated in other posts, the activists need our support with donations to help them in the next days to 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’ 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 educate and collect signatures – they need our support!

1469901_10202567843900112_2096519645_nPlease sign and share the petitions

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.

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

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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,

___________

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.

RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

295623_587838614561266_1046506254_n_____________________________________________

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.

ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT CONTINUES

564071_639840512705273_1640745443_nIf you have been reading this blog you know that the BiH Parliament is planning to change the existing Animal Protection and Welfare Law to allow ‘euthanasia’ of dogs held in shelters for more than 14 days without adoption (see our other posts if you think this is an effective means to curb stray populations, and what it really means – killing by horrifically inhumane methods (cheaper) and a reason to cover up continued corruption in state shelters where a continued influx of dogs means more money laundering).

1381160_10202424022544668_909629795_nThe proposal for these changes to the Animal Protection and Welfare Law was legislated in the first reading in House of Representatives of Parliamentary Assembly last night, October 28th. 18 representatives were for changes to 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. 

The responsible committee (the Constitutional-Legal Committee of the House of Representative. This Committee monitors the compliance with the BiH Constitution) will initiate debate on the proposed law and submit any amendments on the 14th November. 

1383443_639841189371872_791678674_nThe second reading of the proposed changes is then scheduled for 20th November. 

Should the responsible committee produce a report that accepts the proposed changes, both Houses (House of Peoples and House of Representatives) will debate the report and then vote on the proposed amendments. What follows will be a final vote on the proposed law in its final text.

Should the responsible committee disagree with the proposed changes that were voted for on the 28th October, there are two possible outcomes: this negative report can be accepted and the proposed law rejected, or the negative opinion can be rejected and the proposed law be once again returned to the committee for reconsideration.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE SURE THE PROPOSED CHANGES ARE NOT IMPLEMENTED? 

RIGHT NOW THE ACTIVISTS ARE PREPARING AS FAST AND QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. THE next two weeks are EXTREMELY important weeks.

1374259_639843986038259_1314581357_nTO BE HONEST, RIGHT NOW WHAT IS NEEDED MOST URGENTLY FROM US OUTSIDE OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA ARE FUNDS TO HELP THE ACTIVISTS CAMPAIGN. We have just days to assist the activists to make a final campaign to ensure the the amendments are voted against. They need funds for travel and other costs involved in meeting with relevant authorities and politicians and in costs involved in ensuring that all activists from all over the country can focus together; telephone costs; printing costs for campaign posters, flyers and much much more.

IF YOU CAN HELP PLEASE SEND A DONATION VIA OUR YOUCARING FUNDRAISER – ANY AMOUNT WILL HELP NO MATTER HOW SMALL!
 https://www.youcaring.com/kill-law

OR directly with Paypal to donations@awabosnia.org and mark for ‘ADVOCACY’

1383625_10202427690556366_212779918_n

IF THERE IS MORE WE CAN DO THE ACTIVISTS WILL LET US KNOW AND I WILL UPDATE THIS BLOG. OF COURSE YOU CAN KEEP WRITING LETTERS TO YOUR MEP, TO THE ANIMAL WELFARE INTERGROUP, TO EVERYONE LISTED ON THE ACTION TO TAKE PAGE.

AND KEEP SIGNING AND SHARING THE PETITIONS.
PLEASE JOIN OUR FACEBOOK EVENT FOR CONTINUED UPDATES.

RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

295623_587838614561266_1046506254_n_____________________________________________

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.

EUROPE! FOLLOW ITALY’S EXAMPLE!

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Bosnian Parliament’s vote on the kill-law amendments to the Animal Welfare Act has been postponed until Monday.

Today’s session was largely taken up with discussion of the sacking of Mirko Šarović (who was one of the key players in the Bosnian government against amendments to the Animal Welfare Act…).

HOWEVER, THIS MEANS WE HAVE THREE DAYS TO CONTINUE OUR CAMPAIGN! AND ITALY HAS SPOKEN OUT AGAINST THE LAW!   

The Italian Government has asked the Bosnian parliament to reject the bill which was due to be voted on today in Sarajevo:
Bosnia: Italia chiede al parlamento di non uccidere i cani randagi

The Minister wrote that the “The foreign ministry, including through our Embassy in Sarajevo, will continue to follow with great interest the problem and intervene also in agreement with our European partners, to urge Bosnian authorities to maintain the current legislation and ensure effective enforcement….The deputy PDL Michela Vittoria Brambilla (known for commitment to animal rights) commented positively on the initiative of  Minister Bonino, hoping, stating that the government will do “Everything in their power to press for a European directive that excludes  killing and  all governments, EU and non EU – starting with Romania and  Spain – who delude themselves by fighting with the killing of stray animals.”

WE ARE ASKING EVERYONE IN EUROPE TO WRITE A LETTER TO THEIR EU MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT TO ASK THEM TO FOLLOW ITALY’S EXAMPLE! PLEASE WRITE IT BY TOMORROW, FRIDAY, AS NO DOUBT THEY WILL NOT BE WORKING ON THE WEEKEND. 

You can find who your MEP is by clicking on to this map: ‘Euromap’. Click on your country, you will be given a page of MEPS. Click on the first name. Look on the right hand side of the webpage where, in most cases you’ll see something like this:
Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 21.43.37Click on “E-Mail” and send them the letter below, addressing them directly by name, and signing it with your name and your address. Go back to the list and repeat until you have sent the letter to all the MEPS in your country! THANK YOU!

**************************************************************************

Dear 
As you certainly know, Bosnia Herzegovina is about to vote on changes to their Animal Welfare Act, changes, which if implemented, will have dire consequences for stray dogs.

The existing no-kill law, although not implemented, is a good, humane and enforceable law.

So far, only the Italian Government has intervened on BiH’s stray dogs’ behalf: the Italian Ambassador in Bosnia, Mr Ruggero Corrias, asked BiH politicians to not change but to enforce the existing law. 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

Voting on amendments to to the Animal Welfare Act has been postponed for Monday 28th October. This means that we have some more time to lobby the authorities in BiH.

I ask you to follow the Italian example and strongly urge the Bosnia-Herzegovina government to not change the law but rather to start actually enforcing it.

Professor Selma Filipovic, Head of the Department of Surgery, University of Veterinary Medicine in Sarajevo has stated that Calls to kill are despicable moves by political lobbies in order to buy sympathy from the public.”

If proposed changes become effective, euthanasia would be performed within 15 days from a stray dog’s arrival in a shelter. This may sound an effective way to deal with a burgeoning stray animal population, but please read on. There exists extensive documentation on how BiH ‘shelters’ ‘euthanise’ animals: by clubbing, injections of bleach and so on. These are cheaper, easer methods to implement. So you can be sure that if the existing animal welfare law is changed, such means of ‘euthanisation’ will become commonplace.

Studies on management of stray dog and cat population are unanimous in that euthanisation is not the most effective way to control populations. Euthanasia deals only with the symptoms and not the cause of the problem. It is expensive, inhumane and will not provide a permanent solution. Studies have shown that TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) and CNR (Catch-Neuter-Return) programmes are far more effective (and far more humane) than euthanasia to reduce the street animal population.

Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in Sarajevo has recently stated:

What is the background to the proposal to euthanize stray animals? Money laundering! This proposal provides carte blanche for mass killing of stray animals, and to abolish the responsibility of lower levels of government, the veterinary profession, inspections and police for their four years of inaction in the lack of implementation of the existing Animal Protection and Welfare Law. This proposed provision is intended to mask the massacres of stray animals: politically eligible persons construct so-called shelters for stray animals, which have a function of the concentration camps, and then invoice for false spay/neuter programs, for food that will never be given to animals, for veterinary examinations and treatment, and at the end they invoice for euthanasia. In reality, the stray animals will be killed in worst (cheapest) possible ways, by the methods on which the medieval Inquisition would be envious.”

The solution to the problem of stray dogs is compulsory registration of all dogs and cats, punishing irresponsible owners, sterilization, strengthening cooperation with citizens, improving the situation related to the number of shelters and adoptions, as well as training veterinarians and inspectors. The system to the solution is actually contained within the existing Animal Welfare Act.

Please join with Italy and publicly condemn Bosnia-Herzegovina’s proposed changes to the Animal Welfare Act and demand that they enforce the provisions of the law.

Kind Regards

[YOUR NAME]

**************************************************************************

Please also write a similar E-mail to  the Animal Welfare EU Intergroup:
E-mails:
info@eurogroupforanimals.org
President: Dan Jørgensen

dan.jorgensen@europarl.europa.eu
Honorary President: Carl Schlyter
carl.schlyter@europarl.europa.eu
Honorary Secretary: Marit Paulsen
marit.paulsen@europarl.europa.eu

Vice-Presidents:

Kriton Arsenis
kriton.arsenis@europarl.europa.eu
Jacqueline Foster
jacqueline.foster@europarl.europa.eu
Nadja Hirsch
nadja.hirsch@europarl.europa.eu
Elisabeth Jeggle
elisabeth.jeggle@europarl.europa.eu
Jörg Leichtfried
joerg.leichtfried@europarl.europa.eu
Kartika Tamara Liotard
kartikatamara.liotard@europarl.europa.eu
David Martin
david.martin@europarl.europa.eu
Sirpa Pietikäinen
sirpa.pietikainen@europarl.europa.eu
Raül Romeva i Rueda
raul.romevairueda@europarl.europa.eu
Daciana Sârbu
dacianaoctavia.sarbu@europarl.europa.eu
Michèle Striffler
michele.striffler@europarl.europa.eu
Janusz Wojciechowski
janusz.wojciechowski@europarl.europa.eu

And please keep sharing the petitions! So far we have managed to collect 62,226 signatures of the petitions on 1228 pages, and we will be updating these on Saturday night.

And The Huffington Post has just published an article on the situation in Bosnia Herzegovina. Finally the word is getting out! Canine Cruelty in Bosnia

1386008_10202389001709169_828181205_nPlease join the Facebook Event for latest news and updates: STOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW

Please help activists continue their campaigns by donating via PayPal o donations@awabosnia.org – mark ‘for advocacy’

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

295623_587838614561266_1046506254_n_____________________________________________

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.

ACTIVISTS COVER SARAJEVO IN ANTI-KILL LAW POSTERS

1374870_10202424022744673_2023503994_n

Last night activists plastered Sarajevo with posters campaigning against the kill-law. Also, they have managed to print and send to the Parliament over 62.2226 signatures of petitions on 1238 pages. Thanks to everyone who donated to help with the costs! If you can help with ongoing advocacy please donate via Paypal to donations@awabosnia.org – mark for ‘advocacy’.

1378660_10202424023144683_875348030_n

Here is the latest news from someone actively involved in the campaign in Sarajevo:

“In the worst case scenario that this proposal is passed in the 1st reading [Thursday 24th October] this would mean we have 15 days to the 2nd reading and then we declare open special war. But just I hope it won’t come to that!”

1392013_10202424044505217_1476952051_nThe ‘war’ will not be over on Thursday even if the proposed changes are not implemented. Strategic goal number one is to stay focused on the most important thing and that’s enforcing and implementing the existing animal welfare law even if it gets amended and changed to allow killing of dogs after 14 days in shelters.

In ALL RESPECTS the existing animal welfare law is good but IN ALL RESPECTS it is not implemented!

For example, the existing law states that dogs should have adequate facilities and care in public shelters. As anyone knows who has been reading this blog the shelters are HORRIFIC. So even if the authorities pass a law allowing killing of dogs after 14 days, the shelters are acting illegally by the fact that conditions are entirely inhumane. And this is only one of many such instances of transgressions of the law.

531970_10202233846710391_1820098175_nDonna was found in Doboj “shelter,” at the end of September during one of the investigations of such ‘shelters’ by activists. She was lying in her own excrement, in the filth that is the ground all the dogs there must live in. Her flesh was crawling with worms and she was unable to walk or stand. Inspite of best efforts by activists who rescued her from the “shelter”, she died two days ago.

1392066_10202424045585244_722527044_n

On Thursday Bosnia-Herzegovina Parliament will vote on changing the Animal Welfare Act. If these changes are implemented, it will not only be ineffective in dealing with the stray dog problem but will mean untold suffering for thousands of strays. Please read the posts listed below especially BOSNIA ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT KILL LAW! where you will find details of how to help stop changes to the law. We need your help URGENTLY.

Please join the Facebook Event for latest news and updates: STOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW – critically we need you to write letters to your MEP, to the Bosnian Tourism Authority, to Embassies. All details on ACTION TO TAKE.

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RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

295623_587838614561266_1046506254_n_____________________________________________

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.