The 5th regional workshop on dog population management for Balkan countries was held in Tuheljske Toplice, Croatia, on 4-6 July 2023. The workshop was part of a regional roadmap to assist WOAH members in the Balkans in achieving full compliance with WOAH standards on dog population management by 2025 in line with specific country needs and sub-regional priorities.
The event brought together a group of 35 participants representing Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo*, Montenegro North Macedonia, Serbia, and Romania, along with speakers and observers.
The workshop included a series of lectures covering: the human dimensions of dog population management, effective policy change towards One Health, United Nations Development Programme experience on Dog Population Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina, animal shelter community engagement experience, free-roaming dog estimation tools (e.g. Talea APP) and role Regional Animal Welfare Center.
The IZS-Teramo/WOAH Collaborating Centre presented and provided training for the new self-assessment and monitoring tool for dog population management SAM4DPM, a strategic tool offered to the Balkan countries to become completely self-sufficient in monitoring and assessing the progress of their own individual Roadmaps as well as the level of implementation of National Action Plans and Dog Populations Management programmes in the sub-region.
The country’s presentations, including the results of self-assessment, allowed to build an understanding of the countries’ situation, progress made since the last meeting in 2021, and remaining gaps and challenges.
Moreover, participants have the opportunity to visit the “Shelter for abandoned animals” in Dumovec (Zagreb).
The workshop was an excellent opportunity to provide knowledge, share experiences, and foster collaboration among Balkan countries to improve dog population management and ensure compliance with WOAH standards. The event was characterized by an open and constructive discussion on the latest achievements at a national, regional, and local level, without losing sight of the remaining gaps to be addressed. The importance of permanent long-term collaboration between Veterinary Services, Competent Authorities, stakeholders and civil society and the need to progress in a common and coordinated direction were also discussed.
Participants confirmed commitment towards meeting the roadmap objectives and provided continuous support from WOAH and its partners. Based on the information collected, the Platform Secretariat will refine the proposal of the fourth action plan (2024-2026) to be consistent with the WOAH members, donors and partners’ expectations.
The event was organized with the support of the Regional Animal Welfare Centre and co-funded by the European Commission, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Dogs Trust, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Please find more details in the meeting report.
|DAY 1: 4th July 2023|
|Welcome address||Croatia WOAH Delegate|
|Agenda overview||P. Dalla Villa (WOAH)|
|WOAH Platform for Animal Welfare in Europe||T. Grudnik (WOAH)|
|The new TACH Chap. 7.7||P. Dalla Villa (WOAH)|
|Plenary lecture – “Human dimensions of dog population management”||Prof. J. Serpell – University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine|
|Presentation of the SAM 2.0 project||S. D’Albenzio (IZS – Teramo)|
|Follow up on the training on the use of the SAM Tool 2.0||L. Possenti (IZS – Teramo)|
|Q/A Session on the use of the SAM Tool 2.0||IT Expert (IZS – Teramo)|
|DAY 2: 5th July 2023|
|Plenary lecture – “Effective policy change to achieve One Health goals”||Prof. M. Vucinic – University of Belgrade|
|United Nation Development Programme experience on Dog Population Management in Bosnia and Herzegovina||Mrs E. Bojicic (Project Coordinator for Humane Community Development)|
|Specific Country needs raised at the SDB4 and expected targeted support in between workshops||All participants – Moderator (WOAH|
|The Zagreb community experience on DPM – Croatia||T. Zajec (DVM, shelter manager)|
|Visit to the “Shelter for abandoned animals” in Dumovec (Zagreb)|
|DAY 3: 6th July 2023|
|RAWC DPM network support to the Platform members||A. Hammond Seaman (RAWC)|
|Free-roaming dog estimation tools; the Talea APP||T. Mikus, A. Chaidousis, A. Dinarević (RAWC)|
|Closing remarks – Next steps|
* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999)