England: SAV Now Write TO EU Commissioner Hahn Regarding Serbia – Israeli Live Animal Transport.



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Regarding the export of live sheep from Serbia to Israel in such terrible conditions recently;  see our post


we have now written to Commissioner Hahn at the EU Enlargement Commission to ask what regulations / compliances for the welfare of animals in transport actually were involved (if any ?) with these consignments.

If there was no legislation in place for compliance, then the consignments should never have taken place in the first place.

Directly following is a copy of the letter sent to Commissioner Hahn.


To:  Commissioner Hahn – European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations

 Who’s Responsibilities Include –  Supporting pre-accession countries in implementing democratic and economic reforms, upholding the rule of law, strengthening economic governance and competitiveness, developing a well-functioning public administration, and building bridges with neighboring countries.


Serbia has a pathetic international reputation for the welfare of animals within its borders. Despite its terrible global reputation, Serbia actually has some very good animal welfare legislation on statute; but these regulations, the national ‘rules of law’, are never actually enforced by the Serbian government / or regional authorities. As shown in your responsibilities above, and as declared on your website  http://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/hahn_en  your fundamental existence is to uphold the rule of law in EU pre-accession states, which currently includes Serbia.  One is therefore to assume that as Serbia has existing animal welfare legislations; you; as part of your Enlargement responsibilities, should be undertaking the actual enforcement of animal welfare legislation within the republic of Serbia.

In relation to the involvement of my organisation within Serbia over the last eleven (11) plus years, it is blatantly clear to the entire world that the Serbian authorities have no regard for the actual enforcement of their own animal welfare legislations.  Further, it seems that the EU Enlargement Commission; of which you are the head; have very little interest in undertaking your actual responsibilities in enforcing Serbia to apply their own animal welfare legislations prior to EU accession.

To further support my argument of the failures, I provide information relating to an incident which has taken place over the last few weeks.  Live animals, namely sheep and / or lambs; have been transported from Serbia to Israel for slaughter.  We understand that a consignment of 16th September was possibly the first of several transported by air from Serbia to Ben Gurion Airport in Israel.  This specific shipment involved around 1500 young lambs that were transported in one of the worst heat waves Israel has known, using four trucks which used the Qalandiya checkpoint, for onward movement to slaughterhouses in Ramallah.

Several lambs died during transportation from heat exhaustion and the very overcrowded conditions which clearly did not comply with EU standards for animals during transport. Below are a few photographs from the many we have on record showing the conditions of travel. 

Photographs removed – but same as that shown on this site.

The EU, of which you are an official, are very quick to continually point out that all the (EU) legislation for animals in transport is in place – Regulation 1/2005 of December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport refers.

As we have seen with very recent expose of transport to Turkey by European NGO’s such as Eyes on Animals,  http://www.eyesonanimals.com/inspection-of-eu-livestock-trucks-heading-to-turkey/  compliance with EU Regulation 1/2005 is haphazard to say the least.

I ask you to provide please what regulations currently exists within Serbia legislation for the enforcement of transport regulations for Serbian farm animals; please provide details on who is responsible for their enforcement, and who has the responsibility in advance of any consignment for ensuring that the (Serbian / EU ?) regulations are adhered to re inspection and approval of consignment journey plans?

As Serbia is currently seeking EU accession, the question is – should your Commission not be upholding its responsibilities (as detailed above) by ensuring that you ensure that the Serbian authorities enforce the ‘rule of law’; either ensuring compliance with their own animal welfare during transport regulations or; if they do not exists, then enforcing EU animal transport existing legislation such as 1/2005 ?

If Serbia does not have its own animal welfare legislation currently in place regarding long distance international transportation; should you not be taking the necessary actions to ensure that journeys such as those detailed above do not ever happen in the first place ?

Serbia should be stepping up to the plate at all times; and be ensuring that legislation (either Serbian or EU) regarding the welfare of (its) animals is strictly adhered to.  Compliance with the law should be the current situation for all animals in Serbia, including stray dogs and cats. Serbian animal welfare legislation established in 2006, which under the Criminal Code of Serbia. Article 269 declares:

  • Paragraph 1: anyone who is cruel to, inflicts violence or kills an animal as defined by this law, must be punished by up to a 6 month prison sentence;

  • Paragraph 2: if suffering or death is carried out on more than one animal, the person who inflicted this suffering can be sentenced with up to 3 years imprisonment.

  • any person who is cruel, violent or inflicts death on any animal making up the ‘special protection’ group of animals  (as for example, the wolf or the brown bear) can again be sentenced to up to 3 years imprisonment.

In addition to Article 269, Article 46 of the Serbian Veterinary Law declares:

  • that animals have a right to life.  There is no law declaring euthanasia has to be undertaken as a means of stray / street animal control.

  • each local community in Serbia has an obligation to provide care for abandoned dogs and cats – unfortunately this is still not the case in many circumstances, some 10 years after legislation was introduced

  • each community has an obligation to finance stray animal care, including the building of shelters

  • each community has an obligation to finance sterilisation, medical care and food for the (stray) animals

  • volunteer prizes can be given as an alternative for payment to people who volunteer and are directly involved with  jobs that include  the care and protection of abandoned / stray dogs and cats.

Be they farm animals; animals in transport, stray animals or other; if any form of legislation currently exists, which it does; then this should be enforced by the Serbian government and authorities at all times.  With Serbian EU accession currently taking place, it is also very much the responsibility of the EU to ensure that it fully monitors the entire situation and that Serbian ‘rule of law’ is fully enforced by the Serbian authorities prior to them ever being allowed to become a future EU member state.

The EU cannot make statements declaring enforcement of the ‘rule of law’ on one hand, and then, through its Enlargement Commission, conveniently turn a blind eye to the animal abuses which are happening within these same accession states; it needs to enforce what it says or remove the statements from the ‘europa’ website at the every least. 

If there are to be new future member states in the EU such as Serbia; then we as EU citizens need to be given the satisfaction that everything is currently being undertaken by the EU Enlargement Commission to ensure the welfare of animals within Serbia.  Neither your Commission or the authorities of the Serbian republic give us even a hint of any satisfaction of welfare regulations being enforced at this present time.

As we, EU citizens and taxpayers; are currently providing so much pre-accession financial support (in excess of 1 billion Euros) into Serbia, the very least you can do at the EU Enlargement Commission is to actually ensure that Serbia enforces its own rules of law when it comes to animal welfare legislation.  If they do not, we have to question the point of your own existence within the EU !

I very much look forward to you providing me with a full account of all the sheep sent live from Serbia to Israel; including full information and copies where necessary of compliance with existing Serbian and / or EU legislation on the transport of live animals.  You are the EU Enlargement Commission; let us have the facts when it comes to Serbian animal welfare legislation !

We are working with UK, German and Austrian animal welfare organisations to further promote this issue.  The world has been informed of the situation regarding Serbian – Israeli live animal exports.  We very much suggest that you undertake what you preach – that being Serbian adhesion of the rules of law – its own national laws.  At this present time; regarding Serbian animal welfare, like much of that also in the EU, it very much fails / has been proven to fail.  Global supporters will be informed of the progress of this (our) request via networking sites.  The choice is yours; it can be compliant or non compliant with what you declare on your website – ‘enforcement of the rule of law’.  Lets see it !

I look forward to your response in the very near future;


Mark Johnson

Founder – ‘Serbian Animals Voice’; Kent, England UK.


Date:  21/9/15.


It is only contact address and e mail details which have been removed on this copy – there are no further changes to the letter.

We now await a response from the EU regarding the points we have raised; and you can be assured that we will be publishing the response in full sometime in the future on this site; as well as via many of our other networking sites across the world and within the EU.

We want answers to this animal abuse – Serbia needs to be made account if it has any wish of becoming a future EU member state.

We hope the letter fully outlines our current views and requirements on this issue.

We have asked for detailed answers – we want them !

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