Serbia: Take Action For Zoo Animals – Write To Government Minister Responsible – Sample Letter To Send.

Captive Wolf – VUK Zoo Park – Novi Pazar

Further to our recent articles on conditions for animals in some zoos in Serbia; a sample letter has now been provided which can be mailed to both government officials and also to the Serbian media.

Please help us be a voice for animals in zoos by sending the sample letter below.  As you can see from the following link, we have special concerns about animals at ‘VUK’ Zoological Park, Novi Pazar, Southern Serbia.   The sample letter is especially prepared to address this.


Our main area of concern; ‘VUK’ Zoological Park, Novi Pazar:

Belgrade zoo park:

 Jagodina zoo park:

 Palic zoo park:

 Thanks – SAV.



Please ensure you complete your name and nationality at the end of the letter before sending.  Block listings of all contact e mail addresses are given at the end.


Respected Minister;

I find it necessary to write to you after witnessing the terrible photographs of conditions in which animals are being kept at ‘VUK’ Zoological Park, Novi Pazar, Southern Serbia.

This facility has many animal species including wolves, bear, fox, lion and tiger.

Information in my possession which forms part of the ‘Official Document on the Law for Animal Welfare Serbia’ – Section 14; the Protection of Animal welfare in Zoo’s, sanctuaries or breeding facilities of wild animals; makes it perfectly clear that you, as the responsible Minister, have signed and therefore approved the individual zoo licences which are required for such establishments as VUK’ Zoological Park to operate.  Legislation wording states:

“Clause 71 – Conditions about animal welfare that are listed in clause 1 of this document section 14 have to be fulfilled and this has to be formally approved and verified by minister”. In effect, this means that provisions must be made to represent the conditions and requirements of every single species of animal that is in captivity.

Clause 71 also declares:

1)                 Space and equipment for keeping and reproduction of animals in captivity which are adequate for the needs of every particular animal breed – for every animal species.

In the official Serbian law, there is an official requirement for every individual animal species to be provided with facilities for both its individual species space requirements and its (species) equipment; this meaning things such as rocks, trees, foliage and water pools which are adequate for use by every type of (different) animal species which resides (lives) at any Serbian zoo facility.

One only has to look at the photographs of ‘VUK’ Zoological Park, Novi Pazar, to see that there are no compliances whatsoever to adhere with the individual species requirements of the animals which are currently kept there.  This facility does not comply with Serbian animal welfare law; it is simply a hell for all animals which exist there – animals which do not live, they simply exist.

For example, a tiger should be provided with access to a water pool as well as trees to take shade under, logs to climb over and at the very least, soil covered ground.  The tiger should not be simply thrown into a bare concrete floor cage and deprived of facilities such as a pool, which is obviously lacking as can be seen from the photographs.

Wolves should also be provided with facilities for both their space requirements and equipment.  Wolves are roaming animals and this ability should be reflected in their facility. The keeping of two wolves together in a cage measuring approximately 8 metres square is nothing more than the complete and utter abuse of an animal which in nature has a territorial range of many square miles.

Look at photographs of the ‘VUK’ Zoological Park facilities and then inform me that this place is compliant.  It is not; it is a living hell for every animal that exists there.

Clause 71 of existing legislation declares that as (just) part of his official requirements; “The proprietor of a zoological park or a mini park, sanctuary or a nursery/ breeding facility for wild animals has an obligation to provide”:

  • Provision of ongoing health care
  • Food and water in conjunction with needs for every particular animal breed/ species
  • Financial means that are necessary for continuous work of the zoo.

Clause 72 of the official legislation for animal welfare in zoos requires that;

“Persons responsible for the protection of animal welfare in zoological park, sanctuary or breeding facility for wild animals must have completed studies at academic level with title – diploma – master in veterinary science (doctor for veterinary medicine) or biological science (diploma zoologist /biologist – master)  or completed basic studies in the length of minimum of 5 years in the field of veterinary science or minimum of 4 years in the field of biological science”.

Persons that are in direct care of the animals must be trained in the welfare field”.

I would therefore request that you provide me with details of the following in relation to the person responsible for / the zoological park proprietor of the

‘VUK’ Zoological Park, Novi Pazar, Southern Serbia:

  • What academic studies have they completed with regard 5 years of veterinary science, or 4 years of biological science ? – where were these undertaken and please provide me with certified / documented evidence that such qualifications exist
  • What training have all persons associated with the keeping of animals at ‘VUK’ Zoological Park been given ? – please provide me with certified / documented evidence.
  • What provisions are established for ongoing animal health care ?
  • How often are the animals inspected fully by a veterinarian who is certified for their individual species ?
  • Is ample and adequate food to meet the specific needs of every particular animal breed / species provided on a daily basis ?
  • What are the “Financial means that are necessary for continuous work of the zoo” ? – looking at the photographs of the ‘VUK’ Zoological Park it would appear that the place should either be immediately closed down or alternatively be provided with a huge financial investment to support the current missing animal welfare requirements.

I would personally declare to you that from the photographic information I have in my possession, there are no persons involved with the facility at ‘VUK’ Zoological Park, Novi Pazar, who are in any way adequately trained to keep such animals which are currently surviving at this alleged zoo park. 

Part of the ‘Official Document on the Law for Animal Welfare Serbia’ – Section 14; the Protection of Animal welfare in Zoo’s, sanctuaries or breeding facilities of wild animals; makes it clear that you, personally, as the responsible Minister, have signed and therefore APPROVED all of the individual Serbian zoo operating licences

Therefore, as the individual person responsible for the approval and certification of operation of this (VUK’ Zoological Park) facility and all its alleged highly qualified and trained / certified staff, I consider that you will therefore have no trouble in providing me with the documented proof that I have requested.  If you are unable to provide me with the proof that I have requested, then I have no option but to consider that this facility at ‘VUK’ Zoological Park, Novi Pazar, is operating illegally and in non-compliance with existing Serbian legislation for the welfare of animals Section 14. – the Protection of Animal welfare in Zoo’s.

If this is the situation, then I consider that you, as the Minister who should have signed for (licensed) and approved this facility, are personally also being non-compliant with your adherence to existing Serbian animal welfare legislation.

I am hoping that you will act in accordance with Serbian animal welfare law and withdraw some of the licenses that you have signed for zoos that are obviously inadequate to the requirements of individual animal species – because from what can be seen from many photographs that I have, not many zoos in Serbia appear to be providing a completely adequate living environment required by the individual wild animal species that are being kept within them.  You, as the Minister, should be fully compliant with the enforcement of standards detailed Clauses 71-73 for the Animal Welfare Law.  Even more importantly, you should you be enforcing it – something which you appear to fail superbly with at this present time.

It is now my opinion that you sir, as the Minister responsible for zoos throughout Serbia, should immediately undertake a full review of every permit / license which has been issued.  A full review of the living conditions for all species of animals in each and every zoo is necessary, as I consider that you will find that welfare legislation is not complied with in many instances.

I am also making a representation of this information that I have obtained; including a collection of photographs, to the EU Commission; information which will be considered as evidence for the ‘EU Zoo Enquiry’. This is an independent study, which has not been instigated by the European Commission; however, the Commission is fully aware of the investigation and its objectives, and officials have expressed an interest to carefully examine the study’s outcomes.

The aim of The ‘EU Zoo Inquiry 2011’ is to evaluate the implementation and enforcement of the EC Directive 1999/22 (relating to the keeping of wild animals in zoos), its transposition into national law, national enforcement of that law and the status and performance of zoos in compliance with their legal requirements. A report will be produced for each country, along with a further assessment of the effectiveness of the EC Directive 1999/22 and an analysis of captive dolphin facilities throughout the European Community.   Serbian zoo standards are now being added to this enquiry due to the terrible suffering and standards which, for example, can be seen at ‘VUK’ Zoological Park, Novi Pazar.

Serbia wishes to become an EU member state.  The EU has standards for the keeping of animals in zoos.  Both existing member states and those states seeking membership in the future  who are not compliant with existing EU zoo standards will be fully exposed.





The above letter can be mailed to  (Block listing given below):

1.            Minister of Agriculture Mr. Dusan Petrovic

2.             Director of Veterinary Department of Serbia, Mr.Zoran Micovic 

3.             Veterinary Inspection of Serbia, Mr.Zoran Marinkovic

4.            Minister of Environmental, Mr.Oliver Dulic

5.             Inspection  inspekcija,

6.            Department of the Environment of Vojvodina

Here is a Block Listing of the above + several others – for cut and paste: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


** In addition, a CC’ copy of the letter can be sent to the following Serbian media:


Captive Tiger – VUK Zoo Park – Novi Pazar

Captive Bear – VUK Zoo Park – Novi Pazar

Animal Cages – VUK Zoo Park – Novi Pazar

Bear Cage – VUK Zoo Park – Novi Pazar

Wolf Cage – VUK Zoo Park – Novi Pazar