NATO Kosovo mission asks Bardot to help with stray dogs

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The NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo on Monday responded to complaints from French screen legend Brigitte Bardot of local authorities killing stray dogs by telling her to help raise funds.

"A donation or financial aid from outside could help the municipalities to take different measures against the stray animals," KFOR commander and German General Erhard Buhler wrote to Bardot in answer to her earlier appeal for KFOR to help stop the "slaughter of dogs".

Buhler added that Kosovo municipalities have scarce resources and many people live below the poverty line, which "presumably would (make it) very difficult to explain to the public why the problem of stray dogs should be heavily funded."

"Perhaps you could take some initiatives and internationally raise some funds," he said in a letter seen by AFP.

In a letter this month, Bardot urged NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo to halt the "slaughter" of dogs saying nearly 200 strays had been shot dead recently.

According to a 2003 estimate, more than 50,000 stray dogs lived in Kosovo and experts say the population has increased rapidly since. Many are the descendants of dogs that were abandoned during the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict.

Authorities say the number of strays pose a serious health risk for people living in Kosovo.

In the capital Pristina, plagued by packs of hounds, the authorities launched a campaign to cull the strays in April. Some 350 stray dogs have been shot and killed so far and the campaign is set to last until December.

© 2011 AFP

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