Bosnia: Animals are being killed while authorities turn a blind eye

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Bosnia is likely the only country this consumed with the story of stray dogs, but very few people are interested in discussing the core of the problem.

Informal group of citizens held a press conference yesterday during which, for the first time, information was circulated about the country’s lack of registry for cats and dogs, the Advising Council and Ethical Committee, and a protocol for registering dogs and cats.

According to Inga Dujmovic, Senior Associate – State Veterinary Inspector for Animal Welfare,

Forming a registry for the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina depends on the development of the protocol for identifying dogs and cats. That protocol is still in the processing stage. So, we are waiting for recommendations of appropriate entity ministries in order to move it forward to the Council of Ministers for approval.

In response to the question why the protocol has not been developed since the law was adopted five years ago, Dujmovic answered that she does not have an answer to the question.

The following is an excerpt from the interview with Ms. Dujmovic.

Based on photographs circulating in the media, we can conclude that shelter dogs are living in inhumane conditions. Why are we seeing such pictures from shelters which are receiving significant financial resources?

From what I have seen in photographs, and I am only referring to photographs that I saw through media sources and internet portals, it is in fact true that those are inhumane conditions. First of all, those are unsanitary conditions and the focus on the facilities is not as important as the human factor, unkempt hygiene and the lack of the protocol for operating shelters. It is not enough to just build shelters. You must build an entire infrastructure of people to work in shelters in order for them to function. Especially because you are dealing with a large number of animals and there is an enormous amount of work. Hence, whoever goes into the business of running shelters must be ready for the fact that it entails a lot of work and that everything depends on the prescribed regulations.

Who has oversight over shelters and who controls work procedures?

Oversight is based on territories. These include canton level, republic, and county level inspector of Republika Srpska.

Does that mean that the Veterinary Inspector Department does not have jurisdiction over shelters?

Veterinary Inspector Department does have jurisdiction, however, we have not conducted shelter inspections.

Why?

Answer to that question must be sought from the Director of the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We attempted to contact the Director and obtain answers to questions key to the welfare of all animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but we were told that the Director does not speak to the media.

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