Best Wishes For The Season From All Animal Welfare Campaigners.


 The 3 stages of truth:

1  ridicule

2  violent opposition

3  acceptance

Well I am sitting here on the outskirts of Old London town in the first few weeks of December.  The last few weeks have been; well, very mild considering what a typical November day in England usually brings, namely lots of rain, snow and biting winds from the North; instead, I have been outside most days wearing just a T shirt and a very thin thermal top; watching and feeding the birds and looking at the plants and flowers, who still really don’t have a clue where they are in the year ! – I think many would point the finger at those causing massive climate change; and you can include me onto that list of names !

When I look back at this year and what has happened; I guess that there is nothing that really sticks out.  The only ‘good news’ that we can call, is the letter from the EU Enlargement Commission which arrived with us some time last week.

See the post at

After discussions with some other Serbian NGO groups campaigning for better animal welfare; I think it fair to say that we consider the letter from Myriam Ferran is a very positive one for ‘our’ side.  From the day some 10 years ago when I first founded SAV, I always worked on the policy that if Serbia (one day) wishes to become a member state of the EU; then it needs to work strongly to ensure that there is much better and longer lasing applications of Serbian animal welfare laws within Serbia than they have at the moment. (1)

Serbia already has some very good animal welfare legislation.  The main problem; and our problem as just one NGO of many campaigning for animals in Serbia, is that the laws are hardly ever enforced by the regional and national governments.  Have we not seen this clearly exposed to the world with the very recent case of Nani deer ? – legislation exists to protect her; by law, the Minister has a limited number of days in which to respond and make a decision; what do we get ? – nothing in over 2 months past the decision date ! – 2 months outside of Serbian law – is this the ‘application of the rule of law’ that new EU member states have to show is being enforced within their country before they join ?

Well now we have it clearly documented from the EU Enlargement Commission (to the Serbian government) letter that EPAR Serbia has filed a formal complaint regarding failures to apply Serbia’s own 2009 law on animal welfare.  In addition, the EU also points out that we, as NGO’s, have never received any formal responses to our written complaints from the government in the past; and that this is something which also includes our English MEP Mr. Keith Taylor who wrote to the government on our behalf also.

We were very pleased to witness that the EU also ‘encouraged’ the Serbian government to ‘engage in dialogue with NGO’s’ on the issue of improving Serbian animal welfare.  Slavica, myself and several others are happy for this to commence; after all; it is what we exist for; we now await action from the government who currently have the ‘action’ ball well and truly in their court when it comes to moving things on.  Obviously the government has a lot to go back over regarding its past failures to enforce legislation, and we do not expect immediate action.  But we do now expect action and some form of dialogue; and if this does not happen, then we will return directly to the EU to justify this.

As the letter also says, NGO’s are asking that Nani deer be returned to Mrs. Mitic for long term safekeeping.  We all hope that this will be given priority now and that very soon we can announce that Nani has been returned to the Mitic family; the very family who should never have had her taken from them in the first place !

Are we currently encountering Stage 2 with the Serbian government and authorities ? – Opposition ??

The most recent problem we have had; which was just yesterday; is additional retribution, or you could call them ‘threats’ by the authorities regarding Sasha and his dog shelter.  You can see more about this facility and this extraordinary animal friend at   Rather than go on repeating the story once again, I think it best to refer you to our recent post of 10/12/14 which covers lots of the latest news and events concerning Sasha and his shelter.  Please click on:

We have been in direct contact with the EU Enlargement Commission about this; and we have been working with Serbian animal people over the last day or so to give them a crash course on the requirements of joining up as a new member state of the EU; which Serbia wants to do.  One requirement which any aspiring new member state must show the EU is that back at home, they are enforcing all of their ‘rules of law’; or national laws and legislation.

When it comes to Serbia and animal welfare legislation, we all know that the law is almost never enforced by the authorities.  So by adopting this attitude, you could say that the rule of law is not enforced and as a consequence, Serbia’s request to become a new EU member state must be put on hold until we witness ALL existing Serbian animal welfare legislation being rigorously enforced.

So you could say that at the moment it is a game of cat and mouse between the Serbian authorities and animal welfare NGO’s trying to help animals. The authorities are making threats at shelters such as Sasha’s; but we are keeping the EU Enlargement Commission (who decide who will join the EU in future) informed of things, especially the fact that the authorities are not enforcing the rule of law when it comes to adequate shelter facilities in all regions for animals.  By law, the killing of strays is forbidden, and yet the authorities refuse to accept the findings of the Constitutional Court – September 2012 – “The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia – comprising 15 judges, made a verdict that the 3. Community document of Subotica (town in Serbia) regarding the matter of the treatment  stray dogs/cats is illegal; it is unlawful and it must be changed”.

Reference –

So, things just go on and on; we keep up our work with all the other excellent Serbian campaigners and groups; and we hope for a positive outcome regarding many issues; especially as the EU are continually being informed of situations and what is happening.  As stated in her recent letter to the Serbian Minister of Agriculture, Ms Ferran at the EU Enlargement Commission suggests the government actively engages in ‘dialogue’ with us and other animal welfare NGO’s.  At the moment, all we see is people like Sasha being told they have 2 weeks to get rid of 450 dogs at his shelter ! – to where we ask ? – there are no regional shelters, despite what the law and courts require !!

As an NGO; we, and all the others are very happy to engage into dialogue with the Serbian authorities; but since the EU letter of early November, we have not heard a single word from them.

Finally, I wish to thank you all for your visits to the site this year; for your very supportive comments on the site; and I hope that we have given you an overview of the struggle there is at the moment for animal welfare campaigners in Serbia.

I wish you all a good Christmas and great year in 2015; and look forward to seeing you all again at this site in 2015.

The work and the campaigning goes on as always !!

 xmas cat

I would be the worlds best liar if I said things were not often difficult; but as the late, great John Lennon said – “there are no problems; only solutions“;

Maybe we have some animal welfare solutions on the Serbian horizon !

Regards Mark.

Sometimes in life, you just have to stop it and get off;

– that ‘Long Dead Train’.

Catch the animal rights one instead !

The Viking ship you see 15 seconds into the above video is one which exists at Ramsgate in my home county of Kent, England.

viking ship

The Kent coast was a regular invasion patch for Viking raiders.

The ship celebrates their time and was originally rowed across the North Sea to Kent, England, from Scandinavia.

 Fly Straight With Perfection;

My friend he was the Raven.


Serbia: 10/12/14 – Latest News From Felix Shelter.

Serbian  Flag



We’ll order heating fuel tomorrow and the gas delivery truck should be pulling into the shelter on Saturday.

No more shivering and freezing here over the next two and a half months! We hope we’ll soon be able to cheer your hearts with the new photos of Felix kitties sitting, lying and sleeping on the pleasantly warm radiators.
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blue eyes

We should’ve posted an update on Shalimar sooner, but with so many things going on and a frantic struggle to raise funds for the first tank of gas for central heating needed this winter, we simply weren’t able to inform you about everything, no matter how much we wanted to. Well, after a few weeks of receiving drugs firstly by injection, then orally, combined with topical treatments of his eye with antibiotic ointments and eye drops, our gorgeous blue eyed boy (photo above) is doing just fine.

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Morgan getting better

Morgan’s (photo above) feeling a lot better, we finally manage to keep his cute little face clean and clear of discharges.

A huge thank you to all of you who have helped him so far!