TIR speaks at training conference for law enforcement agencies in Kosovo
Last week, the Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (Foundation for the Animal in the Law; TIR) had the privilege of leading a training session for law enforcement agencies in Pristina on the investigation and prosecution of animal welfare crimes. TIR was invited by StrayCoCo Foundation - Help for Street Dogs and Animal Rights Foundation Kosovo. The successful cooperation with both organizations will be further intensified.
May 27, 2022
On May 19, TIR had the opportunity to teach at a training for law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Kosovo for the investigation and prosecution of animal welfare crimes. The training was organized by the Animal Rights Foundation (ARF - Fondacioni për të Drejtat e Kafshëve Kosovo) and the StrayCoCo Foundation together with the Akademia e Drejtësisë (Justice Academy) and the Prosecutor General's Office in Pristina. The trilingual event (simultaneous translation into English, Albanian, and Serbian) took place at Four Paws Bear Sanctuary in Pristina. Among the participants were judges, prosecutors, police officers, and veterinarians.
ARF and StrayCoCo had invited us to Pristina to share our experiences regarding legislation and enforcement in the field of animal welfare criminal law. The goal of the full-day training was to support the authorities in Kosovo in ensuring that animal crimes like abuse and neglect are effectively investigated and sanctioned.
The presentations by TIR Executive Director Dr. Gieri Bolliger and TIR lawyers Vanessa Gerritsen and Katerina Stoykova focused on familiarizing participants with the concept and specifics of Swiss animal welfare law. Emphasis was placed on typical animal cruelty cases and how to identify and prosecute such cases in practice. The connection between animal cruelty and crimes against humans and the need for prevention in both areas were repeatedly pointed out.
TIR’s findings were then compared with the reality for animal welfare in Kosovo and the main deficits and challenges faced by both Switzerland and Kosovo.
This training day was the first of its kind in Kosovo and, in the organizers’ and participants’ opinion, it was a great success. The conference was rounded off by two very impressive days, during which TIR was able to visit veterinary clinics and animal sanctuaries in Vushtrri, Mitrovica and Skenderaj-Drenas, among others. We saw for ourselves the extremely important and valuable work carried out by the StrayCoCo Foundation, which has been helping street dogs for a long time, and the Animal Rights Foundation Kosovo. The already close cooperation with both organizations will be further intensified in the future, with various joint projects aimed at strengthening animal welfare legislation and alleviating suffering for street animals in Kosovo. TIR is planning similar projects with animal welfare organizations in other countries.
TIR would like to thank everyone involved, especially Dr. Helen Wormser from StrayCoCo Foundation as well as Elza Ramadani and Arif Aliu from ARF for the very warm welcome in Pristina and their excellent and laudable animal welfare work in Kosovo!