Massive animal cruelty in Macedonia could derail Macedonia’s EU membership bid

The Political Animal Lobby (PAL), working with a group of concerned animal welfare activists, has exposed scandalous abuse of dogs in the European country of Macedonia.

An investigation has revealed matters of the utmost animal welfare urgency. There is only one animal shelter in Macedonia and that is Vardariste in Skopje. The city therefore bears the enormous responsibility of setting an animal welfare example for the entire country to follow. It is an opportunity to display great leadership in managing a challenging situation, according to best international practices.

Instead Vardariste is a place of great cruelty and death. Animal welfare representatives have testified to disease being rife there and that arbitrary euthanasia takes place on a regular basis. Hundred, possibly thousands of street dogs suffer abuse and slaughter at the facility.

At Vardariste, dogs sleep on wet floors, in their own faeces. In winter, they suffer from frostbite.

Dogs, including nearly all puppies taken there, mysteriously vanish overnight or die of parvoviruses and distemper.

Although charges of abuse, neglect and inhumane killing have been laid against shelter workers, the accused are still allowed to handle animals. Offers of help from animal welfare volunteers were refused and they are denied permission to fully inspect the shelter.

Vardariste has an official policy of CNR (Catch, Neuter, Release). PAL fully supports CNR, but we have been provided with evidence that it is not properly implemented at Vardariste. We understand there are some 7000 homeless dogs in Skopje, yet in the period between January and June 2018, the city caught and treated only 405 dogs, a situation that is woefully inadequate and will lead to greater problems for Skopje in future.

Before being elected Petre Shilegov, the city’s mayor acknowledged the shortcomings and promised to rectify them if he was elected.

Now that he is in office he has failed to act and in October 2018 announced that he was considering euthanising Skoje’s street dogs.

Letters to his office asking for a meeting to discuss the situation have been ignored.

Macedonia aspires to membership of the European Union.

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Macedonian street dogs

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