Romania: the law that bans euthanasia and yet euthanizes the strays  

  • by: Semper Fidelis
  • target: ANSVSA, Chamber of Deputies, Committee for Public Administration, Territorial Planning and Ecological Balance

The law for animal protection in effect since January 2008 bans the euthanasia of healthy animals.

Yet the stray dogs management is to be regulated by a contradictory law, a huge step back by which the sanitary veterinarian authority ANSVSA reintroduces the killing of stray animals.

The project that passed the Senate is backed by all animal organizations.
The decision-making body in this respect is the Chamber of Deputies.
The decision is due after March 15th, the fate of animals depending on the result of debates in the Committee for Public Administration Territorial Planning, and Ecological Balance, and the final vote by the Chamber of Deputies.

The project approved by the Senate provides that the stray dogs and cats shall be neutered and put up for adoption before they are let back on the streets.
It also stipulates that the puppies and kittens by 5 months of age that cannot survive in the community will remain in the public shelters.

The national sanitary veterinarian authority opposes the project, asking that
- the dogs under 1 month of age and those that are not claimed, adopted or returned under protectors' responsibility to be euthanized after 5 days of impounding.
- the large size animals: horses, other equines abandoned or seized to be slaughtered if not adopted or claimed 5 days after their confinement into boarding stables /shelters.

The sanitary veterinarian authority solely agrees on releasing the dogs back on street if a so called 'protector of zone' takes the responsibility in writing to ensure the dogs food, water, medical care. Until sterilization the animals live on the streets on their own, in nobody's official care; why should that be imposed or conditioned afterwards? The experience proves that this provision, far from helping the animals, is a door open to abuses on animals and their 'protectors'.

The sole positive provision of the sanitary veterinarian authority: the mandatory sterilization of pets, had to be eliminated, since the opposition of public and majority of parliament may have compromitted the approval of law.

Since 2001, the killing dogpounds of Romania, the atrocities and continuous abuses on stray animals by dogcatchers and authorities have become public knowledge and gained a bad notoriety.

In October 2007, Roberto Bennati, vice-president of the Italian anti-vivisection league called Romania the "black sheep of Europe as regards the animal protection":  'Since eastern countries like Romania entered the European Union, illegal puppy trade has been reaching France, Italy and Germany. It's a phenomenon which is difficult to assess. Some data indicates that more than 10 millions of euros were made in traffic in 2006 alone. The puppy business has a steep growth in some parts of the year. Romania heads the ranks in this field, as well as having the lowest rate in animal protection.' Cafebabel.com, October 2007


1990 - WHO EXPERT CONSULTATION ON RABIES: "There is no evidence that removal of dogs alone has ever had a significant impact on dog population densities or the spread of rabies. The population turnover of dogs may be so high that even the highest recorded removal rates (about 15% of the dog population) are easily compensated for by increased survival rates. In addition, dog removal may be unacceptable to local communities".

"Alternative approaches, such as the implementation of "soft" population control projects (such as animal birth control) and education on proper health behaviour, responsible dog ownership and proper rubbish disposal, should be studied and, where feasible, their implementation promoted".


The stray killing as it happens in the real life, not in the official reports, is a brutal method: killing the dogs by poison, shooting, beating, starving, diseases, with acid, tar, by neck hanging are rather frequent occurence - and the atrocities seem to have no limits.

 By maintaining the stray dogs killing the authorities actually acknowledge the incapacity to enforce a policy toward the responsible pet dog ownership, and dog population management. This is just another experiment by ANSVSA at the expense of animal lives that will induce cruelty on animals and destruction, with high costs for taxpayers, and will fail to solve the stray dogs problem. The black sheep of Europe wants to remain black forever.

THEREFORE WE URGE THE ANSVSA, THE COMMITTEE FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION, TERRITORIAL PLANNING AND ECOLOGICAL BALANCE, AND THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES TO PASS THE LAW FOR STRAYS MANAGEMENT IN THE FORM ADOPTED BY THE SENATE OF ROMANIA, THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE AMENDMENTS BEING THOSE IN FAVOUR OF ANIMALS* NOT AGAINST THEM, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW FOR ANIMAL PROTECTION No 9/2008 THAT FORBIDS THE EUTHANASIA OF ANIMALS.


*The amendments proposed by animal organizations are: the large size animals to remain in shelters until adoption, free of costs adoption of animals, neutering of cats, pet registration, free of costs pet registration for people on low income and animal organizations, tough regulations against pet abandonment, and the control of rabies by vaccination and monitoring, not by abusive/illegal  methods etc.

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