Dogs Trust: It is high time to establish a legal system to manage the dog population and thus prevent further suffering of innocent animals as well as all risks for the community

Foto: Richard Murgatroyd Photography 

As an active stakeholder who has been financing for seven years now a whole range of important activities in B&H which significantly support sustainable, humane, systemic and legally prescribed management of the dog population, we are truly upset and disappointed by the latest cases of unimaginable cruelty to dogs, this time in Tuzla Canton.

Therefore, first of all, we call on the local authorities of Gračanica and Dragodol, and especially the cantonal authorities and relevant institutions, to urgently, thoroughly and transparently investigate and sanction the perpetrators not only with respect to the law but also to show that inhumanity and brutality towards animals will not and cannot be tolerated. In addition to the valuable and already well-known programs that we fully fund and implement, with the involvement of local partners across the country, our team, with the support of local and international experts, has produced an expert manual just for local authorities. The manual explains in detail, step by step, the cause of the problem, the reason for the escalation and an efficient, systemic, humane and legally prescribed solution specifically for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, the initiative of certain local authorities to establish a humane, self-sustaining and efficient system, prescribed by all relevant laws, has been strengthened in recent years. Unfortunately, we cannot say that the consistent and transparent implementation of the System is fully ensured in any part of the country.

We believe that local authorities and institutions throughout B&H are faced with the choice of the legacy they will leave for future generations; whether children learn to respect differences, to treat animals and nature responsibly and respectfully, or to learn that destruction and cruelty are acceptable or even desirable, will depend precisely on the community’s attitude towards animals.

Constantly postponing and neglecting the issue of dog population management, and treating this issue as less important to the community itself, can lead to a re-escalation of the problem, while turning a blind eye to animal cruelty can result in tolerance for violence against other helpless categories of society.

With our support and the involvement of local organizations, local authorities and institutions can do their job faster, easier and more cost-effectively, thus establishing and ensuring the implementation of a humane and legal system for managing the dog population consistently and continuously, and thus permanently and sustainably solve the problem of abandoned dogs, thereby significantly improving both animal and community welfare.