On the 10th September the Romanian government approved a law to kill thousands of stray dogs unless they are adopted within 14 days. A group of 30 cross-party MP’s contested the new legislation based on the fact it contravened a number of European conventions. The appeal is now in the hands of the Constitutional Court and there will be a final ruling on Wednesday 25th September.
WSPA has written to all members of the constitutional court as well as the Romanian President, Traian Băsescu, and Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, urging them to consider a more effective and humane solution to the long-standing problems with the dog population.
WSPA’s extensive experience of working on dog management programmes around the world shows clearly that the proposed legislation is neither practical, humane nor effective and will not provide a long-term solution.
WSPA is committed to working with the Romanian government to tackle the stray and roaming dog population through the implementation of humane responsible ownership methods.
WSPA is also in close discussion with other concerned animal welfare groups and is developing plans to support the government in making the right decision, for the benefit of both dogs and people.
September 12 2013
The World Society for the Protection of Animals was deeply sorry to hear the tragic story of a four-year-old boy who was attacked and killed by stray dogs in Romania at the end of last month. This is a terrible tragedy that should never have happened.
However it has now thrown the spotlight on the long standing and very real problem of stray dogs in Romania. WSPA is concerned that in the speed to respond to public pressure, decisions may be being made to placate public anger, but which do not genuinely address the problem.
The Romanian government will be bringing in a new law to kill the stray dogs, just 14 days after they are seized. However this could break a number of European agreements including Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, and others which spell out that euthanasia of dog populations is not an effective way of solving the problem.
Ruud Tombrock, WSPA Europe director said:
“We don’t believe that anyone wants tens of thousands of innocent dogs killed as a response to the tragic death of this poor little boy. A proper long-term solution urgently needs to be put in place and this requires careful thought and consideration, not a knee-jerk reaction to appease/address the understandable public pressure in Romania.”
“The mass culling of dogs lacks compassion and defies the values and respect for life we would normally expect from EU members. The European community has the task of protecting those values, and WSPA will rally all parties to act according and call for accountability of those who do not.”
In line with international guidelines, when dog population management is deemed necessary, it is essential that it is achieved as humanely as possible.
Ruud Tombrock concluded:
“WSPA is already in close dialogue with other concerned organisations on developing plans for a coordinated response to stop plans for the cull, and to engage with the Romanian authorities to discuss more humane and effective methods of addressing the problem so that neither this tragic incident nor the Government’s brutal reaction to it are ever repeated.”