When it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina, it seems more realistic to explain why no problem can be solved, rather then offer alternatives for problem solving. Everything seems to be to complicated! We have so many levels of government, opposing laws and jurisdictions, that the word circus fits best when trying to explain this country.
Another one of these “unsolvable” problems is stray animal situation. Although different association and activists have been appealing to those in power for years to change the Animal protection and welfare laws, they simply keep playing dumb. Other then Gradiska, where „SOS šapice“ association works in collaboration with the German „SOS- Vergessene Pfoten Tierschuntz e.V.“ association and „Posljednja oaza“ association from Orasje, who have been successful in the implementation of this Law for many years, rest of the country is in a state of chaos.
Even when one municipality applies the Law, there are still many problems. In Bosnia animal cruelity and abandoning are not sanctioned. If you apply the Law, then all the other municipalities bring dogs to yours, thinking: “if you want to take care of those mongrels, here are some more”.
It is hard to explain to people living in normal and functional systems what it means to live in a country with under 4 million citizens, 10 cantons, 2 entities, one district and one “state” whose government is led by three presidents (one from each of the 3 constitutive nationalities). To give an example it is literally like this: You knock on the door of one level of government, they send you to a different one (from state level to municipality, from municipality to canton or entity, and round and round). The most fascinating thing is that every one of them, and all of them together don’t feel at all responsible. This is not just the animal problem that i speak of, but also the “unsolvable” issue of abandoned people in this country, as most of them are surviving below the edge of poverty.
Must we say more of a country which can not provide for a free storage for 500 tons of aid sent for flood victims by a foreign organization? People from all over the world keep sending help, but our incompetent government is not able to give them a single storage room to use for free! After days of begging, a single mayor has decided to give them a single storage. Even though this was help gathered from enthusiasts from all over the world, everyone was offering storage for up to 3 500 Euros a month, until a storage was found. Enough said about how this country takes care of its people! What to say of dogs and cats? As long as our politicians keep driving around in the most expensive cars, have the biggest salaries in the world, and estates around the world bought at the expense of the robbed people who can no longer afford to buy underwear, there is an illusion that Bosnia might be working somehow.
I mention underwear. Yes, yes, people in the flooded areas have lost everything, so it is not a rare thing, when u stop a car in Maglaj, Doboj, Samac, anywhere… that people will ask you if you have any with you to give then. The lack of medicines is a huge problem. Every day, minute after minute, you can read on the social networks that there are kids around the Bosnian villages with no medicines. There is much talk of Red Cross manipulation as well, with people constantly making contact, saying they got no aid at all…. Back to the animals. It isn’t only dogs and cats who are endangered. Especially at this moment, until our precious ministries come to an agreement, there is a lack of livestock food. As Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have a big animal incinerator, we have been using the Serbian one located it Inđija, where 152 corpses have been sent so far. The surviving livestock and poor people are crying out for food and water. To cover the eyes of poor starving people who no longer have any outs, the pathetic mayors are hiring hunters to kill the tortured and hungry dogs in the streets of the flood impacted municipalities. The inspection has, as usual, done nothing. And why should they when their offices were not flooded, their salaries come in time, and they “have bigger problems”.
During the recent period we have visited most of Bosnia. I have talked to all the animal rights activists. Spay and neuter program is an imaginary term in most of the country.
When dogs amass, mayors in agreement with the hunters kill them off, and everything is good. Problem solved. It is simply incredible that since the beginning of time, dogs have been slaughtered at the Prijedor Dog Pound, and no one has ever asked how come killing and starving so many dogs has not led to a decreased number of dogs in the streets. It remains unclear how dogs as a species have not been completely exterminated form this terrible country. And no one asks why the no kill Law does not need to be changed in Germany, but only in Bosnia.
I am a Bosnian. I was born in Sarajevo. The logical question we ask ourselves is: why with all these problems, people remain silent. From time to time we protest for this or that, and then the politicians politicize the situation… and in a few days only a few stubborn ones remain, while most go back home, trying to figure out how to earn a few nickels to feed their families. I read a good commentary about animals activism and recent floods. “And there you go… activists have saved 300 dogs from the floods and have no idea what to do with them, and every one of them already has 200 dogs. Fuck this country.”
An yes, our favorite swear word, that we use every day is that – Fuck this country. And the irony is, there is no country.