Macedonia: No Change at Skopje – Now the EU Animal Welfare Intergroup President Writes to the EU Commissioner Asking for Actions





There appears to be very little, if any change to the situation in Macedonia.

Demonstrations have been taking place outside of the offices of the Mayor and the Republic authorities.  These have been demonstrations against the killing of stray dogs and cats in Vardariste, Macedonia.

Video Link: 

SAV have been sent the following message from an activist in Macedonia. 

Their identity will not be given.

The message reads:


I’m writing to you because I know that you are the person who is trying to help the stray dogs in Skopje, holding facility Vardariste, and that you are doing your best to stop the massacre in our city.

I’m not sure that you get all report about situation of abandoned dogs in Skopje, but it’s because we are too busy, hoping we’ll finaly succeed to solve the problem by our own. Obviousely it’s not possible.
 Unfortunately, despite a little progress, the things are not changing, the dogs are killing brutally everyday.. So I’m writing to you, hoping that you won’t forget us and hoping you could help.

Aid holding facility is still opened just for six hour weekly, cooperation with organisations for animal protection is not existing. Entrance in this holding facility  is still not allowed for volunteers, we cant’t take pictures of dogs in there.
 Contract with two volunteers has expired and now they don’t allow  us to sign a new contract, not to talk about transparency, which is poor.
Mortality in aid station is officially about 60 percents -unofficially about 90%, the dogs are despairing everyday.  Public informations about aid station are hidden. Although we requested informations, they sent us a undefined answer, so we complained to allow free access to public informations.

Commission obligated aid station to give us corresponding info, but we still don’t have it.   We also requested explanation for big number of euthanasia.

Now we are finishing production of amendments for existing laws for animal well-being, which are in coordination with european law practice.

Also, we are working on law for prohibition of animal euthanasia.

 Since the majority in the City Council and the Parliament is from ruling party it is very hard for us to loby for a support of this law among the greater number of people’s representatives.

The same situation is with program for solving problem with for growing street dogs population. The program has been made by head of an veterinary master and we are supporting it. It’s basic is CNR strategy and it need to be supported in Assembly of Skopje City.

So, we’re appealing You for help us to make a pressure on Assembly by members of European parliament.

We belive that can be very important and significant. We’re, also, appealing You to help us make contacts with people that can provide any kind of help.  Macedonia, as an state which aspires to become EU member, has to accept sugestions. I belive you know that one of condition that Macedonica has to realize to become EU member is european animal protect law.

We are trying to influence on people choise, we are dooing a lot of campaign (adopt, don’t buy), we involved a public persons, actors, musicians, we offer any kind of help for the people who will adopt stray dog  but the effect is minimal, it will took us a long period to influence and to change the mentality.

We preveousely believed that RSPCA are trying to help the dog, but obviously they are only truing to help the government to “solve” the problem! 

Thank you very much, any kind of help and sugestion is very important for us in fighting for animal rights..

Xxxxxxx  –   animal protection activist



But hopefully things are also moving forward in the EU with regard Macedonia.  Due to large number of letters sent to her by Uk constituents, South East area of England Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Dr. Caroline Lucas,   who is also Leader of the Uk Green Party –  and also the President of the EU Eurogroup for Animals  , has now written a formal letter to Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, The European Commission,

DG Health and Consumers, Brussels, who is responsible for animal welfare issues within the EU, regarding European Parliament / EU Eurogroup animal welfare concerns in both Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina but drawing special attention to the situation regarding stray dogs in Skopje, Macedonia.



A copy of Caroline’s letter to Commissioner Vassiliou can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

Brussels letter stray dogs and cats

Note that in her letter Caroline states:

“These reports are extremely worrying.  They have been brought to my attention by very large numbers of people, both constituents and others, demonstrating how concerned many EU citizens are about the welfare of pets and strays. 

I recognise that the Commission has limited influence on this issue, especially in countries outside the EU. However, as Macedonia is recognised as a candidate for EU membership, and Bosnia-Herzegovina is a potential candidate country, I would like to ask the Commission to ensure that improved animal welfare standards are integral to ongoing dialogues with these two countries”.

The EU all-party Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals

The all-party Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals was created in 1983 in the European Parliament to discuss European and international animal welfare and conservation issues and, where appropriate, take initiatives which can lead to legislation.

Attended by representatives from most political groups and nationalities, this influential Intergroup provides a forum for MEPs for debate and for initiating action for a wide range of animal welfare and conservation issues.
The Intergroup meets every month during the European Parliament Plenary sessions in Strasbourg.
Future actions:

Very soon, SAV will also be writing formally to Commissioner Vassiliou in support of Carloine Lucas’ letter asking her to give priority to Balkans states animal welfare issues, especially regarding the facility for strays at Skopje, Macedonia.  As can be seen from the mail sent by the Macedonian activist (copy above), the situation for Macedonian animals is terrible and we need the EU to ensure the best animal welfare policies are introduced prior to Macedonian membership (accession) of the EU.

We will be asking SAV supporters to also write to Commissioner Vassiliou asking her to take immediate action for the strays in Skopje, and elsewhere in the Balkans states.  The current situation at Skopje is unacceptable, and SAV with help from its supporters (many being EU citizens) can put pressure on the EU with regard Balkans state(s) EU membership.