Natural disasters impacting veterinarians know no boundaries

Police officers help farmers move pigs from a farm close to the River Sava in Serbia.

Police officers help farmers move pigs from a farm close to the River Sava in Serbia. Photo courtesy of VCS and WVA.

In mid-May, devastating floods caused by unprecedented torrential rains swept through Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia. Serbia was particularly hard hit, with rainfall the heaviest in recorded history. As the death and injury tolls rose and damages were assessed, it quickly became clear that the animal health infrastructure in Serbia was severely impacted.

Initial reports of the disaster’s impact on the veterinary profession were distributed via the World Veterinary Association (WVA) online news. Dr. Zoran Katrinka, a Serbian veterinarian who represents the Veterinary Chamber of Serbia (VCS) to the WVA, subsequently provided the WVA with an accounting of the impact of the flooding on the Serbian veterinary profession. The AVMA is also a member of the WVA, and our representatives have met and worked with Dr. Katrinka and consider him not only a colleague, but also a friend.

Dr. Katrinka reached out to the AVMA directly seeking assistance from our member veterinarians. The VCS has determined, through the use of surveys, immediate and intermediate needs to bolster veterinary infrastructure in the affected regions in order to ensure continuity in animal health care during the recovery period. Both financial donations and supplies are needed for interventions such as safe disposal of animal carcasses, euthanasia, and  treatment of livestock and companion animals in the affected areas, However, due to the complexity of receiving medical supplies, initially the VCS is first requesting financial donations immediately, which will be used by the VCS to purchase needed supplies.

To assist in collecting donations for rebuilding efforts in Serbia, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) has designated a fund for donations to the VCS and will distribute all designated funds to the VCS. The AVMF will provide an acknowledgement to all donors of their charitable gift for tax purposes.

Flooding in Serbia

Photo courtesy of VCS and WVA.

Donate online: 
AVMF Balkan Flood Relief
(specify Balkan Floods under Programs)

Donate by mail:
Department 20-1122
PO Box 5940
Carol Stream, IL 60197-5940

Donate by phone:


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