There are two more matters that I missed during my reconnaissance in 2004: animal welfare and litter.
With regard to animals, my wife put out the word that she would fund the castration of two pets per month. In two years her offer has only been taken up for two animals, whilst there are cats and dogs breeding happily everywhere. Some individuals solve the animal proliferation problem by e.g. tying live kittens into plastic bags and throwing them into a dustbin. I was told that in the prevailing religions any interference with God’s work (e.g. procreation) is seriously frowned upon. In spite of official denials, there is also intensive farming and I received reports of cruelty at animal markets. There are also unconfirmed accounts of dancing bears, caged tigers and wolves as well as of a zoo run on Victorian lines with disregard for modern ideas of animal care.
With regard to the other matter – litter – the Montenegrins dump everything everywhere and stinking refuse detracts very much from the ‘wild beauty’ of the land.
A few months ago, Montenegro became an independent state. This may be an opportunity to throw many of the old concepts overboard and to learn from the mistakes of other countries which have paid a high price for factory farming, failure to operate neutering programmes for stray pet animals (particularly in an area where rabies is never far away) and similar acts or omissions. In that way Montenegro could eventually become the ecological state that it purports to be.