The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?


Written by: Ozren Kebo

Originally published on:


For those who do not fall for political spin, things have been clear for a long time: when a problem escalates, the possibility of rational solutions ceases. In a big panic and without a plan, and with a lot of demagogy and fiery words, consequences are eased a bit while causes remain untouched.

There is not a better example of this old, non-productive practice than the way the current administration has sworn to solve the problem of stray dogs in Sarajevo. Five years ago, Bosnia and Herzegovina approved a modern, civilized, humane and in reality an efficient law regarding the protection and wellbeing of animals. But, when this modern, civilized, humane, and in reality an efficient law and its implementation is overseen by an outdated, uncivilized and radically corrupt and inefficient administration, it results in an unbounded catastrophe. So then – just so it is known – those thousands of streets dogs are a result of backwards and incapable administration, not a bad law.

The beginning of the election race in Sarajevo has coincided with the beginning of a different campaign, the one against stray dogs. The truth is that there are too many of them, in many parts of the city they pose a serious hazard, numbers of dog bites are increasing…Those are all irrefutable facts that we have been witnessing for months, however, the administration has waited until September to engage in intense reckoning with dogs so that the concerned residents are shown how their safety is above everything else. Even though, it is the lack of action and erroneous operations that has contributed to the undermining of public safety.

Sarajevo residents, rightly frustrated with packs of stray dogs, are absolutely not conscious of the process that they have been duped into. They are allowing those who have caused this situation to channel their rage – which is the peak of manipulation – and in their name trample all existing lawful regulations to reactivate the egregious animal rendering plant.

In those murderous institutions, the most barbarous methods of torture and killing have taken place for decades. In the movie Kinofil, a dreary picture of intolerant and crude Sarajevo, Director Damir Nemir Janeček showed a small portion of the horrific methods used in those terrifying Canton firms. In them dogs are strangled with barbwires, die of suffocation from their own feces, or are fatally wounded with baseball bats…Sadism was used as a state-sanctioned method of operations, so then this retrograde measure can be freely named a united criminal enterprise for which equal responsibility is borne by all political powers that failed to resolve this problem and who are now calling for renewed killing: SDP, above all, but right behind them are SDA and SBB, political parties whose members previously presented good and moral arguments in terms of stray dogs, but that is now a distant and most likely unrepeatable past.

This year’s election campaign, as all past ones, are bringing a new tsunami of old pranks: unrestrained outburst of banal lies, unrefined political spins and dubious promises. The way our politicians treat the problem of dogs indicates the way they will run everything else that is a part of their jobs. Just follow them, they quickly learn their jobs: with the help of a few obedient portals, step by step, they will build an “invisible framework of fear” and that spin will take care of the rest. The residents themselves will be calling for breaking of the law just so that the problem can be solved.

And now we are on a terrain from which there is no return: violation by violation and here we are in total chaos. Worried parents are self-organizing and sending a message that their children are too afraid to be on the streets. It is a dramatic message grounded in reality, but after that remains a new question: what is going to happen after we kill all of the dogs? Then will your children walk down the streets peacefully, or will there be a slew of beasts uncontrolled by the authorities waiting: drug dealers, pedophiles, juvenile gangs, school bullies, drunk drivers, and an entire spectrum of criminals and tyranny that no one takes seriously?

When there is a lack of studious approach, than there is no adequate insight into the problem and that is the mother lode of all lousy actions. Here are a few questions that no one has answers to:

In the five years since the law was passed, why hasn’t there been an act adopted mandating identification of all dogs and cats?

Who and why is inhibiting this act, which has been defined in the Council of Minister’s plan two years ago?

Who is hindering the establishment of a central registry of identified cats and dogs?

Who is protecting the lobby of illegal breeders, hunting lobbies and irresponsible owners?

What is happening with the national strategy and program to catch-sterilize-release…?

Of course, answers to these dilemmas we will not receive.

But, pre-election demagogy we surely will.

Here is one textbook example; during the first days of the election campaign, the Mayor of Sarajevo visited a person who was attacked by stray dogs. A wonderful move by a concerned politician, who issued a statement during this occasion affirming that stray dogs are an acute problem of our capital and that his administration will efficiently resolve the problem – like it does with all other problems.

A few days later, some barbarian killed a dog in Grbavica. A motorcyclist shot from his gun and contributed to the elimination of the street plague. How should our responsible, just, and humane city administration act in this case? Now, we should expect the Mayor to visit the family of the killed dog, her six helpless puppies, and express his deepest condolences, distance himself from this repulsing act of a savage motorcyclist, and make a statement about how Sarajevo is an open city in which there is space for all living beings of good intentions and promise that this administration will protect innocent dogs from irresponsible individuals who….

Oh, right, it’s election time, and dogs don’t vote.


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