Dogs Have Become Public Enemy Number One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For food for over 100 rescues:

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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

Money laundering behind killing of stray dogs in Sarajevo


HOW TO HELP THE SITUATION FOR THE DOGS IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS IS AT THE END OF THIS POST. 

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

As you know from this previous blog, on 30 June, 2016, the Cantonal Government of Sarajevo issued a decision which requires the utility company KJKP Rad Hygienic Service (or “P.C. Rad”) in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the streets. And as we have already documented, the authorities of Canton Sarajevo have once again started mass catching of stray dogs. Why? In order to launder as much money as possible and in order to destroy as many dogs as  possible.

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A review of official documents demonstrates that money is being stolen from the budget of Canton Sarajevo:

22264189_1171527922908978_6226496771786389059_nP. C. Veterinary station Ltd. Sarajevo, Veterinary Inspection of Canton Sarajevo and the Veterinary faculty of the University of Sarajevo are conducting a project called “Monitoring of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases of Zoonotic Type of the Population of Stray dogs in Sarajevo“. This project is the instigator of the mass action concerning catching and removal of stray dogs.

The project is valued at 133.000 KM, approximately  68,205.00 Euros. This project provides funding for the euthanasia of 300 dogs, which are assumed to be sick (i.e. without any medical examination). Essentially, in preparing the project, authorities have decided to illegally kill 300 dogs.

According to this project, funds are also provided for 500 dogs to be microchipped, vaccinated and placed in shelters (which are illegal since they do not comply with the laws).  There is no clear information what will be done with a further 200 dogs which the project also provides funds for catching.

22According to provisions of the animal welfare laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s prohibited to kill dogs that can treated and cured by veterinarians. Also, according the provisions, it is strictly prohibited to experiment on stray animals.

In addition, by law, only the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina is obliged to control diseases amongst the population of all animal species in the country and only the Veterinary Office can conduct projects of control, prevention and suppression of such diseases.

The Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals is the main legislation concerning treatment of animals in Bosnia. Authorities of one canton (administrative division) must implement this law and it is a criminal offence to finance activities that are done in accordance with illegal decisions of lower level authorities.

14225350_1114575611942665_3682593145194114853_nIt is important to emphasise that 68,205.00 Euros is allocated for this one project, a project that is used as a ‘reason’ for the mass removal of stray dogs from the streets of Sarajevo. Hundreds of thousands of Euros are allocated for the hygienic services as well as for shelters – both of which are not running in accordance with the laws –  and these funds will be laundered through these hygienic services and shelters which deal inhumanely with the animals.  These hygienic services and shelters receive funding for food, medications, treatment, and the catching of stray animals, but the animals do not receive any of this. Where does the money go, we ask.
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NOTE: Photographs are from Zunovnica, this is the former military base in Hadzic. This is now a “shelter” of Canton Sarajevo… joining the many ‘horror’ shelters of Bosnia.This is one of the pounds the infamous dog catchers of KJKP Rad Hygienic Service bring dogs to. Dogs are left in their urine and faeces, they are starving. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Some rescuers have managed to release a few dogs but many, many more will be brought in… it is a never-ending horror and there are no organisations within Bosnia able to help, and international animal welfare organisations have great difficulty in being involved due to the wide-spread corruption at all levels in Bosnia Herzegovina. Please also note that the situation for the citizens of the country is also dire, with some of the highest rates of unemployment in the world. Rescuers struggle to feed themselves, let alone their rescues. If you want to help please write letters as outlined in this post – there are email addresses in the post to write to. PLEASE WRITE LETTERS. Petitions do very little. We have run several petitions for a number of horror situations with hundreds of thousands of signatures collected, but NO CHANGE. Letters to your embassy in Bosnia, to International Welfare organisations are the only way.

You can also send funds as outlined at the end of this post via Paypal to donations@awabosnia.org and we will send it on to rescuers who have taken dogs out.

FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE HERE IS THE INFORMATION FROM THE POST MENTIONED ABOVE:

HOW TO HELP:

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

1. Write letters to your embassy representative in Bosnia:

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


2. Write letters to the Bosnian authorities:

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

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

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

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Dear XXX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The existing Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia-Herzegovina is in fact a good and enforceable law. The only reason the law is not being enforced is because certain political and professional circles do not want to do it.

The law states that every city and town has to build shelters for stray animals. All shelters for stray animals have to provide a NO KILL policy and adequate care, including veterinary care for the animals housed there. Again, the truth is that the conditions in most public shelters are horrific, with dogs being left for days without water, food or care of any kind. There is documented evidence of this.

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

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

The issue of the failure of the BiH authorities to apply even the barest minimum of the law to ensure the safety of the animals must be addressed. It is imperative that the European Commission and the Parliament discusses this matter with their Bosnia and Herzegovina counterparts.

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

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

Kind regards,

 

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

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

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

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

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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.

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