England: Ever Had One Of Those Days When Despite The Evidence You Provide; You Just Get Ignored ??

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7/4/15 – well despite the site being quiet for several days now, we have been working in the background regarding the drafting of amendments to the existing Serbian animal welfare legislation.

Vesna has been working hard writing (in Serbian) a lengthy open letter to over 250 e-mail contact addresses within Serbia, including many media organisations and animal protection associations.  Vesna has written about the current process of drafting the amendments and also about the general situation in the country regarding ALL animals and where she (as a Serbian herself) feels the problems lie.

The next step will be to have a version produced in English also for international supporters, so that they can use this to write also and add to the pressure to ensure that these proposed draft amendments do not become law.

The feeling here is that these draft amendments are being produced by the Serbian government in order to ‘Fast Track’ their application for membership of the EU, and by doing this whilst at the same time removing stray animals from the streets, Serbia will look better in the eyes of the EU as a result. We do not agree, which is why we are also concentrating on our campaigning within the EU, especially with regard the Enlargement Commission.

Today also we made contact with the London office of our friend and animal welfare supporter Keith Taylor MEP (for S. Eastern England) –


– to ask if there had been any response from Commissioner Hahn regarding Keith’s letter which was sent on 19th of February 2015.

You can see our post of the time, which includes a link to Keith’s letter to Commissioner Hahn, by clicking on the following:


After discussions here in London, which included correspondence with Brussels, it was found that Commissioner Hahn had responded to Keith. As a result of today, Keith is now further consulting with his colleagues in the European Parliament on the Commission’s response, and the London office of Keith have informed that they will keep us informed of any potential next steps.

You can read the response from Commissioner Hahn directly below. Alternatively, we have also provided a link which should take you directly to a copy of the same letter.

Stray dogs in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina_response from Commission_20.03.2015

Hahn response Serbia via K Taylor_NEW

As Commissioner Hahn says, the welfare of stray dogs and cats is not governed by EU rules and instead remains under the sole responsibility of the member state concerned. However, as detailed in the second paragraph of his letter, we do feel that as the EU Commissioner responsible for EU enlargement, which currently includes Serbia, the Commissioner is in a much stronger position than he makes out to be able to further communicate with the Serbian government regards expressing concerns of many animal welfare organisations, including ourselves.

In paragraph 3 Commissioner Hahn declares that the EU has supported the guidelines by the OIE; or world Organisation for animal health. Despite being members of the OIE; whose regulations they should follow; it is clear that Serbia does not want to abide by international regulations such as those established for the control of stray dog populations. We think that we have provided enough evidence and photographs over many years on this site (SAV) to make it blatantly clear that Serbia is not, and will not comply with international guidelines for stray animal management; especially as he OIE makes it very clear that a long-term sterilisation program must be used for the reduction in stray animal numbers rather than the ‘kill, hope, and keep our fingers crossed that numbers will reduce’ strategy which seems to be prevalent throughout the Serbian government and its authorities.

Despite what he says, we feel there is very little in the way of positive action from the EU Enlargement Commission and Commissioner Hahn regarding making feelings known and any real positive steps towards getting the European citizens views presented to the Serbian government.

Finally, we at SAV have still had no response from Commissioner Hahn to our letter regarding Serbian animal welfare which was dated 22 February 2015. A copy of our letter which was sent to Commissioner Hahn on this date can also be viewed at the following link:

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2015/02/21/test-comm-hahn/    – we have attempted to make correspondence with the EU enlargement commission today (7/4) but despite several phone calls, have not been able to talk to anyone.

Therefore we will continue to keep all of our campaign avenues open as we probably now has less than one months to oppose the draft amendments which are being promoted by the Serbian government.

Our petition to Commissioner Hahn will remain open – http://www.thepetitionsite.com/758/710/260/serbia-must-fully-enforce-its-own-national-animal-welfare-legislation-prior-to-membership-of-the-eu/  and in addition to this we hope over the next few days to produce sample letters which can be sent both to the EU and also to Serbian contacts in both English and Serbian languages.  Keep watching !!

It must be remembered that EU Commissioners are not elected by EU citizens; they are simply appointed. As existing EU citizens, we at SAV would hope that EU Commissioners would at least acknowledge what we have to say regarding our experience over many years of attempting to be a voice for Serbian stray animals.

Unfortunately it seems that as we are having no response to our letters and no information or updates from the Enlargement Commission regarding what is happening with communications to the Serbian government; the general feeling is that we are being completely ignored as we are pushing the EU to make sure that the ‘rule of law’ (as so strongly promoted by the EU) is enforced by Serbia prior to EU accession. We do not want the Serbian government making amendments to existing Serbia legislation simply to make it easier for them to become yet another EU member state.

Romanian animal welfare and EU failings to enforce animal welfare legislation within Serbia has become a very big embarrassment for the EU. If it is not very careful, Serbia will very soon join the EU and with its animal welfare failures, will be yet another major embarrassment to the EU – a kind of ‘Romania 2’.

We have tried to make this clear where necessary, but we appear to be being largely ignored. What happens over the next few months, and what is accepted by whom in the near future will determine how the world looks at the EU and certain aspects of its attitude to stray animals. Regardless, we will continue to be a Serbian Animals Voice.