In 2003, ORCA launched a “STOP abuse” campaign aimed at making animal torture and killing a crime. A petition was organized and signed by over 10,000 citizens! In response to citizens’ expectations, in 2006, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia, which in its Article 269, for the first time in the history of our country, criminalizes the killing and torture of animals. Since then, ORCA has been continuously working to improve criminal-legal protection of animals, and in 2019, thanks to the support of the 30,000 citizens who signed the petition, we were able to increase punishments for animal abuse.
Considering that Serbia (then Montenegro too) has a civilizational obligation to create a tradition of animal protection, in 2005, ORCA adopted the First Resolution on the Protection of Animals in Serbia and Montenegro. The Resolution is the first document in Serbia to comprehensively point out the problems in the field of animal protection, analyze them and prioritize them in relation to “social maturity”. Through a series of specific recommendations, this act suggested ways in which animal protection in our country could be improved.
The Animal Welfare Act, enacted in 2009, after a nine-year ORCA campaign “The law resolves chaos!”, regulates comprehensively the protection of all animals the survival of which depends directly on humans: (1) domestic animals; (2) pets; (3) experimental animals; (4) captive wild animals and (5) animals used for sports and entertainment. Since then, there have been attempts by interest groups to reduce the protection of certain categories of animals by amending the law. Thus, in 2019, thanks to the support of 88% of Serbian citizens who said “no” to natural fur, we managed to prevent an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act that would again allow the killing of animals for fur production.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated (Mahatma Gandhi)
ORCA considers that the establishment of a functional animal welfare and nature conservation system is one of the important priorities of the Republic of Serbia and the Western Balkan countries. This system involves a comprehensive view of the situation and a strategic approach to the development of animal welfare and nature conservation. It is important for competent institutions to create public policies and regulations in the field of animal welfare and nature conservation in a responsible, transparent and participatory manner, which are mutually harmonized and harmonized with EU public policies and regulations and created on the basis of relevant data. They should also be able to implement and monitor the policy for the development of animal welfare and nature conservation.