Originally published on: Oslobodjenje.ba
It may be hoped for that the relevant animal protection organizations will respond to the conclusions of the City Administration relayed to the public through the press (Oslobođenje, Dnevni Avaz) regarding the existence of emergency in the city of Sarajevo due to the increasing number of stray dogs that endanger human life and health. Specifically that the Government of Canton Sarajevo should bring a measure that would regulate the removal of stray dogs from the streets of the capital of BiH in an expedited procedure.
I assume that you, as well the City Administration, were not familiarized by the initiators of the aforementioned initiative with the existence of the Law on the Protection and Welfare of Animals (which entered into force on 26 February 2009), especially with its transitional provisions. Article 43 section 4 reads: “Until the authorities foreseen by this Law do not establish an animal shelter under Article 28 of this Law, veterinary facilities, in cooperation with the municipal authorities, will conduct neutering, spaying and labelling of abandoned animals, especially stray dogs, and re-release into their natural habitat, in order to stabilize the population of homeless animals by controlling their reproduction in the short term.”
In the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in August this year, a proposal with amendments of this Law was not passed because the delegates, especially those from Republika Srpska, claimed that the Law should not be changed, but implemented, as only a few of the cantons and municipalities have done so far. In the same Article, section 3 states: “Animal shelters, under Article 28 of this Law shall be established within one year of the entry into force of this Law.” Delegates from the Federation and RS were completely right when they recognized the need to correct the causes and not hastily, “cure” the result, which is reflected in the emergence of a large number of stray dogs on the streets of Sarajevo (and this generalization does not hold ground by the initiators).
The Bosnian and Herzegovinian public, and thus European public, has been familiarized with the findings of the City Administration from printed media that “the dog pound of Public Utility Company ‘Rad’ will participate in the removal of stray dogs” (older citizens will certainly remember the ways in which “dog catchers” chased and killed the street dogs!), but has not been introduced with the proposal that the shelter will provide limited stay to the dogs. It is known what happens in this case, given the fact that awareness on adopting dogs is non-existent here (as opposed to abandoning them on the streets, which is far more expressive), to the innocent animals under urgent procedure.
In the end, I will conclude this open letter with the option (which can be read between the lines published in the press on the occasion of this “burning” issue) that in the capital of a country which aspires to the EU, the greatest massacre of dogs may take place soon, and this message was sent by the City Administration, upon your initiative to hold a meeting with the cantonal Prime Minister, relevant ministers, representatives of the Veterinary Authority and Veterinary Inspectorate of Canton Sarajevo.
The saddest thing is, according to the press statement, that the said meeting was not attended by representatives of NGOs that have, through their exceptional dedication, and above all, love for abandoned dogs, contributed that the number of lost dogs (or stray, as the press likes to call them) is not far, far larger than now.
If you would like to help Journalists for Animals in their work in documenting what is happening for animals in Bosnia Herzegovina, or to assist in any particular rescue effort or case, please go to PAYPAL and make a donation to:
Please mark in the donation if your donation is for a particular animal or cause.
And also, once you have made your donation, please ensure that you ‘view transaction details’ (or click on the link ‘details’ beside your donation, or click on the ‘Confirm Receipt’ button if it is there), and click ‘confirm receipt’ otherwise the funds are not able to be used for several weeks. Thank you!