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FOUR PAWS readdresses solution to empty Romanian streets and save dogs

2013-09-09

Killing of dogs has no effect on the root cause of the problem

On the issue of stray dogs in Romania, this morning FOUR PAWS submitted its alternative solution, which avoids killing, to the Romanian Parliament and Government. The international animal welfare organisation has been calling for a National Action Plan for years.



Following a tragic incident last week, in which a little boy was fatally injured by stray dogs, Romanian President Traian Basescu called the Parliament to immediately authorise killing of tens of thousands of stray dogs. The Prime Minister has also pressured the institution to empty the streets quickly of stray dogs. Parliament is due to react to this pressure by Tuesday September 10th and finalise the stray dogs law initiated in 2007.

 

“We are surprised and upset by the recent emotional and extremist statements by the key leaders of the country who have incited Romanians to hate and to kill. We call for wisdom and constructive dialogue. We offered our solution today and we trust the country leaders will take it”, said Gabriel Paun, Director of Campaigns at FOUR PAWS.

 

The killing of dogs has no effect on the root cause of the problem, which is excessive reproduction. FOUR PAWS therefore uses the Capture-Neuter-Release method: Stray animals are captured, neutered, vaccinated against rabies, de-wormed and released back onto the streets from which they were taken. To kill stray animals has no sustainable effect as after a period of one generation a new population of dogs and cats will take their place. The WHO, OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) as well as other organisations support the C-N-R method as the only humane method known to be effective in the long-term, sustainable control of the stray animal population. In addition,

Romania’s Constitutional Court in its Decision 1/2012 rejected the law which allowed authorities to euthanize stray dogs, saying parts of it were unconstitutional.

 

The solution offered by FOUR PAWS addresses the cause and the effect at the same time. The cause is the abandonment of dogs, and the effect is that the situation on the streets is out of control. Authorities have tried both killing with determination and an inconsistent sterilisation program, all of which costs money, but with little effect. The real solution is to stop abandonment and take over control on the streets. Stopping abandonment involves a complex set of legal measures which establish mandatory chipping of all dogs, mandatory castration (except the dogs with canine value) and criminal charges for abandonment. In two words this is responsible ownership. To take over control on the streets an immediate process must start, in which the sterilisation program is faster and performed at national level. Dogs must be gradually removed from the streets, taken to special centres and prepared for adoption. Press and politicians must offer at least 10% of the space and interest they showed over the last week in order to attract animal lovers to adopt the dogs successfully.

 

“Our mobile Stray Animal Care teams have caught, sterilised and released over 10,600 strays in Bucharest (over 100, 000 strays in total in Romania) since 2001, but our efforts were not backed up by the authorities either at source or at the effect. It should be like cleaning a flooded apartment: firmly switch off the water source first, then fix the pipe and clean the house”, explained Paun.

 

In the light of recent investigations FOUR PAWS is worried that the killing of dogs by physical violence and poisoning has already spiralled out of control. The local police even seem to ignore the barbaric killings of stray dogs which have happened up to now.

 

“Obviously people don’t know that killing an animal comes under criminal law, and clearly the police ignore it. It is now public that one man also died from eating poisoned sausages intended for dogs. Police must take immediate action or we take them to court”, warned Paun.

 

FOUR PAWS calls on the Romanian Parliament to ignore base emotions and act wisely by adopting a solution-orientated stray dog law which avoids killing. At the same time police must stop and punish the illegal killing of stray dogs immediately.


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