Serbia must fully enforce its own national animal welfare legislation prior to membership of the EU.

  • by: Mark Johnson
  • recipient: EU Commissioner J. Hahn – Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

Serbia is currently undertaking the process of applying for EU membership (called ‘accession’). Existing animal welfare legislation in Serbia is good, but in the vast majority of cases it is not regularly / ever being enforced by:

• Serbian government, regional authorities or the national police.

By the EU Commission’s own admission; ‘there is legislation in place (Serbian Animal Welfare Laws), but this is not fully implemented’.

By not implementing its own existing laws; which include animal welfare; Serbia is not upholding a fundamental principle required by any nation to gain EU accession; which include:

• ensuring the implementation of all the nation’s own “Rules of Law” national legislations
• “paying full regard to the welfare requirements of animals” in accordance with the key principles required for all EU member states as defined in Article 13 of the EU Lisbon Treaty (TFEU).

Serbia is currently failing in this and its own national animal welfare legislations. As a consequence, it should not currently be considered for EU accession until it fully implements and proves to the EU Commissions, EU animal welfare NGO’s and the EU Animal Welfare Intergroup / Eurogroup, that it IS actually fully implementing ALL existing Serbian animal welfare legislations.

EU Commissioner J. Hahn is responsible for EU Enlargement Negotiations which include Serbian accession. Within his responsibilities, he must ensure that a PRE- EU membership Serbia:

• fully complies with Article 13 (TFEU)
• fully respects Serbian welfare of animals legislation
• pays full regard to, and implements the welfare requirements (legislations) for all animals (wild and domestic) within Serbia
• starts to provide on going financial support to Serbian animal shelters rather than attempting to close them down as is often the situation.

For more information on animals in Serbia please visit

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