Campaigns Move On This Week (15th September) for the Animals of Serbia

Well it has been a busy time over the last week or so for all people and organisations associated with the SAV alliance.



Our main campaign recently has been to attempt to get the Serbian government to introduce new (national) legislation regarding the humane treatment and sterilisation of stray and roaming animals (cats and dogs).


Also, recently, it was decided to stop the Petition which we have been running called “Serbia Suffering”  This petition is aimed at the European Union (EU) Parliament asking them to take action against Serbia for not enforcing its own animal welfare legislation and for causing untold suffering to many thousands of animals as a result.


Over 5,000 signatures were collected for this petition in a very short period of time, which shows the worldwide strength of feeling there is about animal suffering in Serbia.  Originally, the aim was to collect 1,000 signatures, but we have passed that and passed it fantastically, with 5,539 signatures comprising 246 A4 pages ! – a full copy of all the signatures, worldwide locations of people, and their comments to the EU on the Serbian issue can be seen in the following pdf file.





A formal letter on the issue of Serbian animals, the killing methods used by the authorities and a full copy of the petition will be sent to senior members of the EU Parliament and Commission during the next week.  Many signatures on the petition are from citizens of the EU, and so now we ask the EU to represent its citizens as it always claims it does, and take action for the animals suffering daily within Serbia.


OIPA,  have produced their own excellent five page letter to the Serbian government and authorities regarding stray animals and their management.  The letter was sent to:


Mr. Boris Tadic – President of Serbia

Mirko Cvetkovic – Prime Minister of Serbia

Sasha Dragin – Serbian Minister of Agriculture

Zoran Micovic – Director of the Veterinary Department of Serbia


and can be read via the following link:


In English:   oipa-letter


In Serbian:   oipa-letter-spetembar-132008

(  Thanks to Translator – Madame Tanja Zivic- friend of “Help Animals”, Beograd  )


Copies were also provided to both the European Parliament and to the European Commission.



On the OIPA web site (given above) you can see many campaign issues relating to stray animals, including the European Convention Protecting pets and Stray Animals,, 

‘Bruno’ the police dog in Serbia ,

stray dogs in Serbia ,

the killing of street dogs in Serbia 

and some great images of the EPAR shelter in Serbia  for rescued animals which has been built with a contribution from OIPA .


SAV have also written a four page letter to the Serbian government and authorities (as with the OIPA letter) during this last week, and both serbian and English versions can be viewed at the following pdf file links:






Our great campaigner in Serbia, named Slavica, who works so tirelessly for all animal welfare issues, and who has written to the government on this issue many times before, and never had any formal response to her letters, has today (Monday 15th September) forwarded on both the OIPA letter, the SAV letter and a copy of the “Serbia Suffering” petition to everyone at the Serbian government, all of the Serbian authorities and to very many people at the Serbian press and media. At the time of writing this, we are already getting very good responses back that much of the media has been looking at the letters and information provided, asking for a national ‘No Kill’ sterilisation policy for all stray and roaming animals within Serbia.


We are also calling for a full public education campaign regarding stray / roaming animals, and how the public have a duty to ensure that their animals are not allowed to roam the streets, mating with other animals and continually adding to the massive numbers of animals, which despite such cruel ‘control’ methods by the government and authorities to reduce numbers, just never appears to work.  National sterilisation, vaccination, microchipping and the creation of a national owner database is the only way that the authorities of Serbia will ever start to get a reduction in animal numbers.


For your information, in recent studies undertaken by the HSUS in the United States of America,


One unspayed dog and her offspring can lead to 67,000 dogs in six years.

One unspayed cat and her offspring can produce 400,000 cats in seven years.


(Source The Humane Society of the United States, “HSUS Pet Overpopulation Estimates,” 2004)”.

Multiply these numbers by all the stray and roaming animals within Serbia (many thousands) and you can see why under their current policies, the Serbian government and authorities will never even start to reduce stray and roaming animal numbers by any significant amount.  Serbian taxpayers will be paying taxes for a never ending policy that is doing very little to meet its objectives.

Both OIPA and us at SAV are confident that we have put forward a valid, sensible and logical argument for humane stray and roaming animal population management in Serbia.  Now we have to wait for a government response, if we are going to get one.

SAV has asked the government to respond to their letter by Monday October 13th.  SAV are willing to accept a longer response time if it is needed, but this is our intitial deadline.  If nothing is heard by this date, then we will be contacting the EU to informe them of our letters to the Serbian authorities, and their responses, or lack of !




Serbia is looking for EU accession (membership), and so it must show that it is at least taking on board issues which currently have meaning within the EU nations, and animal welfare is one of them.




So now we have to wait and see what happens in the Serbian government in the coming weeks. 


OIPA and SAV very much hope that the Serbaian parliament will at least decide on some kind of humane animal sterilisation programme for the near future, as we have said, this is the only way to ever start to reduce animal numbers on a national basis.


We will be giving further updates on progress, if there is any, in the coming weeks.



Please Note – all the above photographs are specifically related to Serbia.  They form part of an extensive photgraphic library held by organisations of the SAV alliance.


Special thanks go from SAV to Translator – Madame Lubarda Jelena – friend of Help Animals, Beograd, for her assistance with letter translations, and also Korjenic Zlata of help Animals, Beograd, for invaluable assistance and keeping the ball rolling.



USA – Three Arrested for Allegedly “burning, stabbing, beating, slaughtering and torturing” Cats – Please Take Action

This story appeared in the Helena Independent Record, last Friday, September 5th, 2008.  
This is beyond disturbing, and we want to be sure that this case isn’t plea bargained down
to the usual slap on the wrist.

Three arrested for allegedly killing cats

Brandon Wayne Hartford, 26, Andrew Joseph Welch, 20, and Kyle
K.Hallowell, 19, each faces a felony charge of aggravated animal
cruelty for “burning, stabbing, beating, slaughtering and torturing”
the cats,which they hunted in several locations in Helena, East
Helena and the Helena Valley, according to documents filed Thursday
in Justice Court.

Hartford and Welch, who are both being held in lieu of a $25,000
bond, were taken into custody Wednesday. Hallowell was arrested
Thursday morning and his bond will be set today.

According to Lewis and Clark County detectives Larry Platts and
Cory Olson, who investigated the killings along with Det. Dennis
Nyland, the three men drove around neighborhoods during the night,
stalking and hunting stray and pet cats.

The men told investigators that they had killed between 16 and
24 cats.

Investigators said there is no evidence that could identify
where the animals came from.

When they located a cat, the men would lure the animal into
their car and take it to one of several locations, which included
construction sites, wooded areas and the house on the 2800 block of
Winslow Avenue where the men have been living.

“These are inhumane acts of cruelty,” Sheriff Leo Dutton
said. “It shocks the conscience.”

The detectives said the men have been killing the animals for at
least the past two months.

The alleged crimes apparently began with the men’s joint
dislike of cats, Platts said. Hartford allegedly started the spree by
beating to death a cat that scratched him when he picked it up, Olson

The investigation of the men stemmed from witness statements
during the investigation of an unrelated report of disorderly conduct
earlier in the week, Dutton said.

Officials declined to give more information about that incident
because it is still under investigation.

“I am shocked how someone can treat an animal with no way of
protecting itself this way and get some gratification from it,” Dutton

In addition to the cruelty charges, Hartford and Welch both
face a felony charge of tampering with or fabricating physical
evidence for removing evidence from the crime scene on Winslow Avenue
and using bleach in an attempt to clean up blood stains.

Hallowell also was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of
obstructing a peace officer.

If anyone is interested in contacting the County Attorney or writing them,
along with signing this petition, the information is as follows:

Lewis and Clark County Attorney/Public Administrator
Courthouse – 228 Broadway 
Helena, MT 59601
(406) 447-8221

Independent Record – 09/05/08

Authorities have arrested three Helena men for allegedly
torturing and killing about 20 cats, including three that were burned