Bosnia and Herzegovina: Start Implementing Animal Protection Law
According to information we have received from activists in Sarajevo, we learned that on October 5, 2013 the Bosnian Government will be making changes in the Animal Protection Law. Based on our experience, this type of modifications doesn’t usually do any good for the animals. Government has already tried to do something similar a few months ago by proposing euthanasia of stray animals after only 15 days of their stay in the city pounds. Fortunately, this decision was never accepted and we want it to stay that way - permanently.
Pressure from the people and the Bosnian Government for this problem to be solved on the most brutal way is rising each day and is probably stimulated by the Romanian Government’s decision to kill all their stray dogs. We must stress out the information that Bosnian Government has never implemented their Animal Protection Law from 2009. That is why we need to keep our pressure on them to start doing their job properly and stop the needless suffering of Bosnian street cats and dogs.
I am fully aware that the co-existence of stray dogs and people is a tough challenge and incidents do occur. I have seen many attempts to solve this situation in either an aggressive or peaceful manner.
I also kindly ask you to use the following proposal in 7 steps:
1. Establish mandatory micro-chipping for all dogs in urban and rural areas (including information about the owner, breeder or kennel they come from). It is necessary to know which animal belongs to whom when it is found abandoned or mistreated and abused so it can be returned to its owner if lost or to punish the owner for the abandonment and negligence.
2. Ensure proper enforcement of micro-chipping including:
- Mandatory spaying and neutering of all dogs, no matter if they have owners or not, to minimize the risk of having new unwanted puppies/kittens on the streets (just one unsterilized male animal can impregnate dozens of females, creating dozens upon dozens of unwanted offspring, while one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens!)
Neutering has proven to be much more humane, cheaper and efficient solution to the problem.
- Ensure that the abandonment of dogs and cats is a criminal offence (if you do not punish irresponsible owners, they will throw puppies/kittens again and again)
- Veterinarians are obliged to give warnings to the owner if their animal is not micro-chipped and to alert local authorities when the owner refuses to micro-chip its animal.
3. Start an integrated mass-sterilization program at a national level. Join forces with capable NGOs.
4. Establish adoption centers.
5. Start media partnerships to encourage adoptions at a national and international level.
6. Punish all who abuse, torture or neglect animals (harming an animal is a first step to harm a child or adult).
7. We demand that you do things in accordance with the Law, and after four years of its existence, to start fully implementing it.
If you believe in this, people will follow you. It will take some time, patience and a lot of work but it is a rewarding job with empty streets and both people and animals being happy.