and I am asking you to take a moment to write a letter to your MEP or Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other authorities. All details in these posts: 

Anti Kill Law Fight Continues
Please sign the new petition:  STOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW!


This is a critical petiton to sign given what is happening in Romania right now. Bosnia may well decide to do the same thing.

Animal abuse is rife in Bosnia Herzegovina and the problem of companion animal, particularly dog overpopulation has become a problem of epidemic proportions; there are no humane animal control programs in place and the corruption occurring at management level in many public dog 'shelters' means that shelters are part of the problem, with dogs left to starve or being "euthanised" by injections of bleach or clubbing. The general populace of this country views stray dogs and cats as nothing more than a vermin to be exterminated – or worse.

It is critical that the government of Bosnia Herzegovina immediately implement a mandatory spay neuter program for strays (catch-neuter-return) and also for owned pets; mandatory microchipping; prosecution of animal abusers and corruption in shelter management and education of the populace in the importance of humane treatment of all animals. The link between animal abuse and crimes against people has been documented for decades and needs to be understood by the government and people of Bosnia Herzegovina. Please read the petition letter for the full story!

For more information:

In Memory of Vucko - Blog raising awareness and funds to stop animal suffering in Sarajevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina

Particularly relevant pages from In Memory of Vucko:

Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation

Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia

Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend

Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend PART TWO

Mass Graves Found Near Dog “Shelter”


Part One 

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

Other relevant information, links, websites:

Care2 Petition: Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia

Thinktank Policy Brief on the issue of animal welfare in Bosnia Herzegovina November 2012 (PDF)

Making the Link - A study to identify psychological effects of children regularly exposed to uncontrolled community animal abuse and evaluation of efficacy of interventions. 

Occupy For Animals

Occupy for Animals - Petitions to the European Union

"Recognizing that man has a moral obligation to respect all living creatures and​​​​​​​​​​​​ bearing in mind that pet animals have a special relationship with man"​​​​​​​​​​​​​

- European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals,  Strasbourg,  13.XI.1987

Letter to
State Veterinary Inspector for Animal Welfare Inga Dujmović
Chief Cantonal Veterinary Inspector, Sarajevo Joka Hlubna
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mirko Šarović
and 36 others
Ministry Of Environment And Tourism Branka Đurić
Legislation and Harmonization with European Union Regulations Željko Silađi
Legislation and Harmonization with European Union Regulations Legislation and Harmonization with European Union Regulations
Ministry Of Interior Predrag Kurteš
Judiciary Issues, Federal Ministry of Justice Hidajet Halilović
Joint Committee on European Integration Vlatka Dangubić
Joint Committee on European Integration Halid Genjac
Joint Committee on European Integration Vesna Krstović – Spremo
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zlatko Lagumdžija
SDP President
SDP Jasenko Selimovic
SDP General Secretary
SDP Chief President
SDP International Department
Minister, Canton Sarajevo Zlatko Petrovic
Public Relations, Council of Ministers of BIH Amela Mulavdic
Prime minister of Republic of Srpska Zeljka Cvijanovic
Second Deputy Speaker of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly Sulejman Tihić
Caucus of SDP BiH members Saša Magazinović Chair of the Caucus
Caucus of SNSD members Drago Kalabić Chair of the Caucus
Caucus of SDA members Asim Sarajlić Chair of the Caucus
Caucus of SDS members Mladen Bosić Chair of the Caucus
Caucus of SBB BiH members Mirsad Đugum Chair of the Caucus
Caucus of HDZ members Mato Franjičević Chair of the Caucus
Mixed caucus of members from peoples parties Božo Ljubić, Chair of the Caucus
Mayor of Sarajevo Ivo Komsic
Mayor of Stari Grad Ibrahim Hadžibajrić
Mayor of Novi Grad, Sarajevo Semir Efendić
Mayor of Bihac Emdžad Galijašević
Speaker of the House of Representatives Obren Petrović
First Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Milorad Živković, Ph.D
Second Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Božo Ljubić, Ph.D
Speaker of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly Ognjen Tadić, Ph.D
First Deputy Speaker of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly Dragan Čović, Ph.D
Premier, Canton Sarajevo Muhamed Kozadra
Millions of citizens from the EU and worldwide care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to read constant reports of horrific animal cruelty occurring in Bosnia and Herzegovina and about the shocking and increasing numbers of stray dogs in the city streets.

The problem with stray animals in this country must be addressed in a humane, forward-seeking way: compulsory spay neuter of companion animals; compulsory microchipping and registration; public education on responsible ownership and humane treatment of all animals.

Many international animal welfare organizations cite Bosnia as the country with the most reports of animal abuse and suffering. It seems that the society views stray dogs and cats as nothing more than a vermin to be exterminated – or worse.

Deliberate animal abuse is rife: there is the famous case in Ilidža, where two men put a rocket explosive firework into a young German Shepherd’s mouth and duct-taped his jaws shut, setting the rocket alight. The firework caused substantial injuries to the dog’s face, but did not kill him. He wandered about for five days before being finally rescued by animal welfare volunteers. The dog had to be euthanized. The dog’s injuries were documented by photograph and video and can be seen on the internet. Nearly 200,000 people signed petitions asking the Bosnian and Herzegovinian authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice, but nothing was done.

Dogs are routinely poisoned, used as bait for dog fighting; chucked into rivers to drown; beheaded, beaten, starved. Cats suffer equally appalling treatment.

Torture and killing of animals is a criminal offense in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of such crimes very rarely occur. The usual response of police officers to reports of animal abuse is that these are “unimportant offenses.” It is evident that police officers, prosecutors and judges are not trained to understand the link between animal abuse and crimes against people.

This link has been well documented over several decades. Studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology during the last 25 years have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. In the USA, the FBI has recognized the connection since the 1970s, when its analysis of the lives of serial killers suggested that most had killed or tortured animals as children. Other research has shown consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse, and elder abuse.

According to a 1997 study, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse. Professionals in the veterinary, animal control and animal welfare fields are now seeing companion animal overpopulation as a "people problem" rather than an animal problem with the individual and collective behaviour of people as a causal agent.

The problem of companion animal, particularly dog overpopulation in Bosnia and Herzegovina has become a problem of epidemic proportions. It is understandable that citizens of the country are concerned about the spread of disease, and about being attacked by dogs. Unfortunately this concern only contributes to the negative view and inhumane treatment of the dogs.

Furthermore, animal rescuers are generally considered to be "fools", people who "do not have anything better to do." This indicates that the society in this country does not understand those who are unable to fight for themselves and their rights and has a complete lack of empathy for those who suffer. This means the society as a whole has a pathological feature: animal abuse can be a symptom not only of a personality disorder, but the disorder of a society.

Until the government and citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina understand these wider implications of animal abuse and neglect, the animal overpopulation will not stop. It is vital that these implications are understood by all and that adequate means are implemented to address the situation in a lasting and humane manner.

The dog shelters of Bosnia and Herzegovina are not a solution: not only are the conditions entirely inhumane in most, if not all, state shelters, but it is common knowledge that such shelters are used to launder money from public budgets. Even when good shelters are set up they fail: a model dog shelter set up in Brcko District had to close after eight years because it was subject to sabotage, threats, abuse, theft and illegitimate lawsuits. However, the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Herzegovina states that shelters for stray animals must be built and maintained, and this Act includes shelter guidelines which ensure all necessary conditions for a successful and humane shelter. Therefore, all those responsible for the numerous “horror shelters” of this country should be punished by law; and shelters should be built and maintained according to the Animal Protection and Welfare Act. It is necessary that foreign animal welfare organization control the conditions in Bosnian-Herzegovinian shelters and that they educate and manage the people who work in these shelters to ensure that there is no corruption or reduction of standards.

Currently population control and promotion of spaying and neutering as well as implementation of the animal welfare law is not in any shelter manager’s interest because they want and need a constant flow of new dogs so they can justify the funds spent each month from the budget. We have access to images from the state dog shelter in Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These images show dogs that were killed by injections of bleach and a dog killed by other dogs. Dogs in shelters are known to be ‘euthanised’ inhumanely in a number of ways including clubbing. Images from other state shelters show starving dogs and dog corpses left amongst living dogs.

Critically, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to implement a countrywide, compulsory spay neuter law for all dogs and cats, whether they are stray or not (owned dogs and cats are left unsterilized and free to roam, contributing to the problem), imposing hefty fines on those who disregard the law. Just 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. Male animals contribute to the companion animal overpopulation crisis even more than females do. Just one unsterilized male animal can impregnate dozens of females, creating dozens upon dozens of unwanted offspring.

Housing strays in shelters after sterilisation programs is also detrimental. A spay neuter program for strays must be C-N-R (catch-neuter-return), which is in fact the only humane and proven method to successfully curb stray animal populations, sterilising and then returning dogs to the territory where they have been caught. If the dogs are not returned back to their territory, the reproduction rate will rise directly with the catching rate (in an area where 50% of the dogs are caught and removed from the territory the rest of the 50% will breed in larger numbers due to the fact that they will use the whole food resources available). The empty place created by dogs being removed will be occupied by other dogs in search of food and shelter.
However, if the dog is returned to his/her territory, he/she will fight off and keep away newer dogs from entering his/her area, including those that are probably not sterilized and thus stop the reproduction in this area. Their number will stabilize in this manner, and reduce, slowly, but surely.

“Catch & kill" or "catch & incarcerate" policies have failed in many countries. Cities that have successfully managed and curbed their stray animal population were those that opted for "catch & return", such Oradea in Romania, which had a stray animal population of 4,000 dogs in 2006. This has been reduced to 270 dogs in 2011 without putting to death a single animal. C-N-R is also a cost effective approach. Romanian Animal welfare organisation SOS Dogs calculated the cost over 10 years of “neuter and return” versus “catch and kill”: in a town of 200,000 people with 8,000 dogs the cost over 10 years for “catch and return” was calculated at 995.000 Euros, and the cost of Catch & Kill was calculated at 1.8 million Euros with no long term reduction in the unsupervised dog population achieved.

It is imperative that Bosnia and Herzergovina make such measures as stated above a priority. The Eurogroup for Animal Welfare is strongly urging the European Commission to adopt adequate steps to ensure that all companion animals are properly treated to protect their health and welfare. If it is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s wish to join the EU it would seem that until their government takes crimes against defenseless, sentient animals seriously they will not be a fit country to be accepted into the EU.

Regardless of EU membership, for the sake not only of the animals but the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray animal population control must be implemented, with resources allocated to ensure such principles are understood and followed by all citizens including those in the police and judicial authorities.

Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards.

Milioni građana širom Europske Unije, kao i širom svijeta iskreno brinu o dobrobiti životinja i mučno im je da konstantno čitaju izvještaje o užasnim slučajevima okrutnosti nad životinjama u Bosni i Hercegovini, kao i o šokantnom i rastućem broju napuštenih pasa.
Problem napuštenih životinja mora biti riješen na human i napredan način: konstantnim provođenjem programa kastracije/sterilizacije kućnih ljubimaca i napuštenih životinja, kao i konstantnim provođenjem njihovog mikročipiranja i registracije, edukacijom građana o odgovornom vlasništvu životinja i humanom postupanju prema svim životinjama. Ovaj vid edukacije se odmah mora poceti primjenjivati u svim školama.

Mnoge organizacije za zaštitu životinja istiću da je Bosna i Hercegovina država sa najviše slučajeva zlostavljanja životinja, kao i patnje životinja. To govori da društvo napuštene pse i mačke vidi samo kao „nešto što treba iskorijeniti“ – ili gore.

Namjerno zlostavljanje životinja je svuda prisutno: jedan od poznatih slučajeva zlostavljanja životinja se desio na Ilidži, gdje su dvije osobe stavile petardu u usta mladog njemačkog ovčara, koja je eksplodirala i pritom raznijela psu njušku. Iako je petarda prouzrokovala užasne povrede na glavi psa, nije ga ubila. Lutao je 5 dana prije nego što su ga napokon spasili volonteri koji se bave zaštitom životinja. Pas je morao da bude eutanaziran. Povrde koje je taj pas imao su fotografisane i snimljene da mogu biti prezentovane na internetu. Blizu 200 000 osoba je potpisalo peticiju u kojoj se tražilo da vlasti Bosne i Hercegovine privedu počinioce licu pravde, ali ništa nije učinjeno.

Konstantno se dešavaju trovanja pasa, psi se koriste kao mamci za borbe, bacaju se u rijeke da se utope, odsjecaju im se glave, bivaju pretućeni i izgladnjeli. Mačke su izložene jednako užasnom tretmanu.

U Bosni i Hercegovini mučenje i ubijanje životinja je krivično djelo. Međutim, do hapšenja i procesuiranja počinitelja tog krivičnog djela vrlo rijetko dolazi. Uobičajan odgovor policajaca na prijavljivanje krivičnog djela mučenja i ubijanja životinja je da je to „nevažno djelo“. Evidentno je da policijski službenici, tužitelji i sudije nisu obućeni da razumiju povezanost između zlostavljanja životinja i zločina nad ljudima.

Ta veza je odlično dokumentovana u proteklih nekoliko decenija. Studije iz psihologije, sociologije i kriminologije u proteklih 25 godina su jasno pokazale da su nasilni počinitelji krivičnih djela imali ranija djela ozbiljnog i konstantnog zlostavljanja životinja. U Sjedninjenim Američkim Državama, FBI je prepoznao tu vezu 1970. – ih godina kada su analitičari FBI utvrdili prilikom analize života serijskih ubica, da su serijske ubice u djetinstvu zlostavljale životinje. Ostala istraživanja su pokazala konstantan uzorak okrutnosti nad životinjama osoba koje su počinile različite oblike nasilja, kao što je zlostavljanje djece, supružnika i starijih osoba. Djeca koja su izložena i prisutna zlostavljanju i ubijanju životinja razvijaju teške psihološke anomalije i pormećaje, kao što je veliki stepen agresivnosti koja se manifestuje nekad i prema životinjama, ali imaju i teške oblike anti – socijalnog ponašanja i kriminalne agresije prema ljudima i imovini.

Prema studiji iz 1997. godine, zlostavljači životinja su 5 puta više skloni da izvrše nasilje nad ljudima i 4 puta su više skloni da izvrše krivična djela nad tuđom imovinom, nego osobe koje nemaju povijest zlostavljanja životinja iza sebe. Stručnjaci u oblasti veterine, kontrole životinja i dobrobiti životinja sada vide problem napuštenih životinja kao „ljudski problem“, a ne kao problem životinja, čiji je uzročnik pojedinačno, ali i kolektivno ponašanje ljudi.

Problem napuštenih životinja, a naročito problem velikog broja napuštenih pasa u Bosni i Hercegovini je dostigao razmjere epidemije. Razumljivo je da su građani zabrinuti za širenje bolesti, kao i za postojanje mogućnosti da budu napadnuti od strane pasa. Nažalost, ova zabrinutost vodi samo ka negativnom pogledu i nehumanom tretmanu pasa.

Nadalje, aktivsti za prava životinja se predstavljaju kao „budale“ i osobe koje „nemaju pametnijeg posla“. Time društvo pokazuje da nema razumijevnja za one koji se ne mogu sami boriti za sebe i svoja prava, kao i potpuni nedostatak empatije prema onima koji pate. To pokazuje da društvo kao cjelina ima patološka obilježja.

Dokle god vlasti i građani Bosne i Hercegovine ne shvate šire implikacije zlostavljanja i zanemarivanja životinja, problem prevelike populacije napuštenih životinja se neće riješiti. Najvažnije je da se ove implikacije razumiju i da se sva adekvatna sredstva implementiraju da se riješi problem na prihvatljiv i human način.

Skloništa za napuštene životinje nisu jedino rješenje. U mnogim skloništima uslovi su jako nehumani, ako ne u i u svim, također poznato je da se skloništa za životinje koriste za pranje budžetskog novca. Čak i dobra i uspješna skloništa su zatvorena, kao što je sklonište u Brčkom koje je zatvoreno nakon 8 godina rada, zato što je bilo predmet sabotaža, prijetnji, zloupotreba i nezakonitih parnica. Izgradnja i održavanje skloništa za napuštene životinje je zakonska obaveza u Bosni i Hercegovini, propisana Zakonom o zaštiti i dobrobiti životinja, također postoji i Pravilnik o osnivanju i uvjetima koje moraju ispunjavati skloništa za napuštene životinje, koja propisuju uslove koje mora da ima dobro i uspješno sklonište za životinje. Zbog toga, svi oni koji su odgovorni za tzv “horor skloništa” moraju bit kažnjeni, a skloništa se moraju graditi i održavati u skladu sa odredbama Zakona o zaštiti i dobrobiti životinja BiH i Pravilnika o osnivanju i uvjetima koje moraju ispunjavati skloništa za životinje. Također je potrebno da strane organizacije za zaštitu i dobrobit životinja kontroliraju uslove u skloništima, kao i da educiraju radnike u skloništima da bi iskorijenili korupciju koja je pristuna u skloništima za napuštene životinje.

Kontrola populacije i promocija i provođenje programa kastracije/sterilizacije, kao i implementacija Zakona o zaštiti i dobrobiti životinja BiH nije u interesu upravnika skloništa, jer im je potrebno konstantno pristizanje novih pasa, da bi se moglo trošiti više novca iz budžeta. Imamo pristup fotografijama iz skloništa u Banja Luci, drugom po veličini gradu u Bosni i Hercegovini. Te fotografije pokazuju da su psi ubijani inekcijama izbjeljivaća, kao i da su ih ubijali drugi psi. Poznato je da se psi u skloništima ubijaju na nehumane načine, ukljućujući i to da su bili zatućeni. Fotografije iz drugih skloništa pokazuju izgladnjele pse i leševe pasa među živim psima.

Važno je da Bosna i Hercegovina provede kastraciju/sterilizaciju u cijeloj državi i za napuštene pse i mačke, kao i za vlasničke pse i mačke (vlasnički psi i mačke koji se kreću bez kontrole su također problem za populaciju), kao i da oštro kažnjava sve one koji prekrše zakon. Samo jedna ženka psa i njeno potomstvo mogu stvoriti 67 000 psića u 6 godina. U 7 godina, jedna mačka i njeno potomstvo mogu stvoriti 370 000 mačića. Muške životinje koje nisu kastrirane čak mogu da naprave veći problem, jer može da oplodi na destine ženki, stvarajući desetine i desetine neželjenih potomaka.

S obzirom da držanje napuštenih pasa u skloništima je trenutno problematično, program kastracija/sterilizacija mora da bude bude uhvati – kastriraj/steriliziraj – pusti, to je jedini human i dokazan metod smanjenja populacije napuštenih pasa, gdje se nakon kastracije/sterilizacije psi vračaju na teritoriju gdje su uhvaćeni. Ako psi nisu vračeni na njihovu teritoriju, stepen reprodukcije će biti direktno proporcionalan stepenu hvatanja pasa (u zoni gdje je 50% pasa uhvaćeno i uklonjeno sa teritorije, ostalih 50% će se množiti do velikog broja i dokle god imaju dostupne izvore hrane). Prazno mjesto koje je ostalo iza psa koji je uklonjen, biti će zauzeto drugim psima koji su u potrazi za hranom i skrovištem. Međutim, ako se pas vrati na njen/njegov teritorij, taj pas neće dopustiti da ostali psi uđu na njegov teritorij, uključujući i one koji nisu sterilisani/kastrirani i tako se zaustavlja reprodukcija na tom području. Njihov broj će se stabilizovati i polako, ali sigurno reducirati. „Uhvati i ubij“ ili „uhvati i zatvori“ metode u mnogim državama nisu uspjele. Gradovi koji su uspješno reducirali populaciju napuštenih životinja su koristili metodu „uhvati i vrati“, kao što je Oradea u Rumuniji, koja je imala populaciju od 4000 napuštenih pasa u 2006 godini, a koja je do 2011 reducirana na 270 pasa, a da pritome nijedan pas nije eutanaziran. Metoda uhvati – kastriraj/steriliziraj – pusti je također jeftina. Rumunjska organizacija za zaštitu životinja SOS Dogs je izračunala da su troškovi u 10 godina za metodu „uhvati i pusti“ u gradu sa 200 000 ljudi i sa 8000 pasa iznosili 995 000 Eura, a troškovi za metodu „uhvati i ubij“ bi iznosili 1,8 miliona Eura, a metoda „uhvati i ubij“ nema dugoročne rezultate u suzbijanju populacije napuštenih pasa. Imperativ je da Bosna i Hercegovina provede gore navedene mjere, a to su: provođenje postojećeg Zakona o zaštiti i dobrobiti životinja, uključujući i hitno i adekvatno procesuiranje onih koji krše Zakon o zaštiti i dobrobiti životinja, konstantno provođenje kastracije i sterilizacije, kao i provođenje edukacije djece i odraslih.

Euro grupa za dobrobit životinja jako urgira kod Europske komisije da se usvoje adekvatni koraci u cilju osiguranja da se svi kućni ljubimci i domaće životinje adekvatno tretiraju u cilju zaštite njihovog zdravlja i dobrobiti. Ako Bosna i Hercegovina želi da pristupi Europskoj Uniji, dokle god vlasti Bosne i Hercegovine čine zločine nad nemoćnim i osjetljivim životinjama, Bosna i Hercegovina neće biti podobna da bude prihvaćena za novog člana Europske Unije.

Bez obzira na člansvo u Europskoj Uniji, za dobrobit ne samo životinja, nego i ljudi u Bosni i Hercegovini, moraju se provesti mjere za humanu kontrolu populacije napuštenih životinja koja su prihvaćene na međunarodnom nivou, sa principima koje razumiju i poštuju svi građani uključujući i policiju i sudsku vlast.

S poštovanjem i u očekivanju Vašeg odgovora!