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Romania may start ending lives of stray dogs this Christmas


FOUR PAWS engaged in campaign to change the killing law

Last week the Romanian government approved the methodological norms for the application of the stray dog law which will enable the killing of stray dogs. FOUR PAWS has made huge efforts to secure a better law and methodology but the government's decision-making process remains not transparent and they are still in favour of killing the dogs. Gabriel Paun, director of campaigns at FOUR PAWS says: “The Romanian Government has given the green light to its employees  to spend public money on ending the lives of stray dogs beginning this Christmas.”

Despite previous constructive collaboration between FOUR PAWS and the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority there has been drastic changes at the last moment to the previous agreements. The Romanian Municipalities Association pressured the authorities and important provisions have disappeared, as did the obligation of the city hall to catch aggressive dogs as a priority. “To close the process immediately after consulting the municipalities without giving the public and experts a chance to participate is at the very least strange. It sums up the picture of the decision making process in Romania: emotional and abusive”, added Paun.


Just before the meeting with the municipalities, the Romanian President of the Veterinary Authority visited Vienna to exchange their experiences of dog shelters and discussed the issue with the public. Following FOUR PAWS’ arguments against the new law, the President admitted that “the law is not perfect” and would be changed in 5-6 months from now if it was proven not to work: “FOUR PAWS will take all necessary steps to prove the systematic failure of this killing law and will drive forward a new law where animal welfare comes first”.


After the Romanian Constitutional Court had given way to the mass killings of stray dogs at the end of September, FOUR PAWS immediately started to campaign for nationwide stray dog adoption in Romania. Since then, the international animal welfare organization has neutered nearly 700 stray dogs brought in by people who have taken over responsibility for them. In order to facilitate adoptions, FOUR PAWS Romania has set up a special Facebook page with detailed information about how to adopt a stray dog. Paun adds: “The new law and its methodology doesn’t support adoptions at all. On the contrary, people who want to take a dog currently face discouraging bureaucracy”.