To whom it may concern;
I am writing to express my complete and utter disgust at the situation I have seen at Loznica city pound.
Firstly, I understand that it is a regular occurrence that dogs which are attempting to survive in such squalid conditions at this so-called %u2018animal shelter%u2019 are regularly being used as living targets by local hunters.
I have seen the photographic evidence of one small female dog which has been shot through the body with a hunters arrow.
Secondly, the conditions for animals at Loznica %u2018shelter%u2019 are a disgrace, especially when you are allegedly providing millions of dinars to make the place more suitable for animals. One has to ask where exactly this money is really going %u2013 maybe into the pockets of Serbian politicians rather than animal welfare.
Members of the Serbian parliament who represent Loznica always speak against stray dogs whenever they have the opportunity. They never speak out about the irresponsible animal owners of Loznica; those people who care nothing about their animals, who turn them out on the street every day, to mate with other animals, the same owners who make no attempt to get their animal(s) sterilised; something which would very rapidly reduce the numbers of strays on the streets if only this were to happen. Progress in reducing stray animal numbers needs to be obtained through education and a sterilisation programme, and responsible pet ownership. Serbia does not appear to be moving in any direction with any of these programmes at the moment %u2013 apart that is, from its endless and pointless stray killing attitude, which will never significantly reduce stray animal numbers in the long term.
The Serbian media continue to use a language of nothing but hate against stray animals. But the media does very little to analyse what has been continuously stated by animal welfare organisations regarding a national sterilisation, vaccination and identification programme to reduce stray numbers long term. Where the money which is currently being used for rounding up and killing a small percentage of strays, it could and should be diverted to instead be used to sterilise, vaccinate and identify treated strays on the streets; strays which are identified as having been sterilised and which are of no %u2018threat%u2019 to increasing stray animal populations.
Shinters (dog catchers) need to be educated to ignore animals which are identified as being sterilised, rather than simply going on their killer mindset frenzy of wiping out every animal which they come across.
Where exactly is all the money for the shelters and for animal control programs actually going ? %u2013 could it instead be being siphoned off into the pockets of politicians ? %u2013 food for thought and certainly the views of Serbian animal campaigners who see very little progress in the standards of personnel (shinters) and the conditions of animal shelters across Serbia.
Sterilized animals do not produce offspring; but neither the Serbian government or the Serbian media appear to understand this basic fact of nature. Money needs to be put into a sterilisation programme, not a continual killing programme which kills some strays but allows other non-sterilised animals to reproduce and effectively, continue replacing the numbers of animals which have recently been caught and killed by an archaic and very uneducated regime.
Serbian animal activists have much proof of animal abuses and have asked for the intervention of the Serbian government in agreement with the obligation (of the government) which is defined in Article 192 of the Serbian Constitution, and also Article 8 of the Law of Government. Despite their requests to the Serbian government, these citizens of Serbia are being ignored. So what can be said about the rights of Serbian citizens when they are ignored by their own government, despite there being legal obligations which the government should adhere to ?
I am sending a copy of this letter to the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Mr. Olli Rehn; to inform him that in no way is Serbia currently in a position to be accepted into the EU. It is clear from the situations at Loznica alone, regardless of any other Serbian cities and their approach to stray animal control procedures, that you as a government are not enforcing your own rule of law, a fundamental requirement for membership of the EU. An additional copy of this letter is being forwarded to the OIE, Paris, to inform them of the animal abuses and non-compliance with the existing animal protection legislation in Serbia. Legislation which the government would appear to be ignoring and dismissing.
Instead, you continue to allow local authorities to work using the old, outdated and illegal legislation of Pravilnik 29/94; legislation which has since 2005 been overwritten by Article 168, the Serbian Veterinary Law of 02/10/2005.
Local authorities across Serbia are using Pravilnik 29/94 to continue killing animals held in pounds after 3-7 days when in fact they should now, and from late 2005, have been using the new Veterinary Law Article 168 which demands the care of animals, not the killing.
This has recently been verified to Serbian animal campaigners by the Constitutional Court of Serbia. Proof of this can be provided if requested, either by the Serbian government, the EU Enlargement commission, or the OIE for animal health in Paris.
You, as the Serbian government, are not enforcing the current veterinary law to proterct animals. Instead, you are continuing to use old and now illegal legislation for the killing of animals. This is not acceptable and the EU Commissioner is now going to be informed that the Serbian government cannot enforce %u2018the rule of law%u2019 as required to be shown for EU membership.
Although as a government you should be fully aware of national legislation, but obviously you are not, I will have to make it clear to you:
Pravilnik 29/94 became nonexistent on 02/10/2005 when it was replaced by the new veterinary law Article 168 which demands the care of animals, not the killing.
Also, I now understand that authorities have started discussions at a meeting in Negotin; where these authorities have plans to introduce a new version of the old and illegal Pravilnik 29/94, which returns back to allowing animal killings after 30 days of being held in a shelter.
There would be not law for the care of animals under this new regime, simply a policy of kill, kill, kill.
I guess the reason for this new kill policy is because shinters, veterinarians and many politicians all take money from the public purse by being involved with an animal killing strategy. You obviously wish to keep these advocates of animal killing funded from the public purse, so you are possibly going to introduce new legislation (the new Pravilnik 29/94) to ensure that this continues to happen. Public money for continued killing with no real long term programme to reduce animal numbers by other methods %u2013 this is what the Negotin discussions are aimed at.
This discussion has started in the city of Bor; the city where over 1,000 bodies of illegally killed animals have been left on the city dump, and also where live animals are left on the dump wrapped in plastic bags to suffer a long and terrible death.
Again, we have the evidence and can provide photographs to any parties who request them.
The Serbian government is not enforcing new (2005) national legislation to protect animals,
The Serbian government are not enforcing the law of the Serbian government, the law for public competition,
The Serbian government are not enforcing the Criminal Code,
The Serbian government are not enforcing the verdict of the Constitutional Court of Serbia, or enforcing the Serbian Constitution,
In summary, there is no enforcement of the Serbian %u2018rule of law%u2019 and as such, I consider that you as a nation are not elegible for membership of the EU until you show positive changes with regard each and every one of these areas.
Both Commissioner Rehn at the EU and the OIE Paris will be provided with a copy of this mail.
To Serbian Government;
Commissioner Rehn %u2013 EU: