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Romanian Constitutional Court gives way to mass killing of stray dogs


FOUR PAWS urges mayors and veterinarians to stand against killing


The International animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS claims that the Romanian Constitutional Court approval of the stray dog killing law ignores the call of the European Commission to respect the international treaties on animal welfare and the explicit political will of Members of the European Parliament.


„Words are too less to express the disappointment about this stone age attitude. At this stage we can forget about dreaming of the President refusing to sign the law as he is the one who called the nation to go for killing. We have to urge mayors and veterinarians to use their scope of discretion not to kill. We call on people who care to save as many as possible dogs from the streets by adopting them”, said Gabriel Paun, director of campaigns at FOUR PAWS International.


The court’s decision fails the spirit of the WHO and the terrestric guidelines of the International World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) and is in contradiction to the previous position just two years ago: “Killing of stray dogs may be applied as the very last solution when all other available methods have been correctly applied by the local authorities but they did not reach the objective to reduce or phase out this phenomenon.” (Constitutional Court decision no.1 from January 11th 2012).


It is well known that the government had rejected any cooperation with NGOs to solve the problem by a national action plan and the majority of the local authorities has therefore not worked on a sustainable solution for the stray dogs problem. On the contrary: extremely poor conditions in dog shelters, neglected and suffering animals, missing adoption campaigns and doubtful use of respective budgets and rejecting cooperation with NGOs. No wonder why many shelters are now under criminal investigation. We can hardly believe that this highest legal institution dares to ignore not only the strongly expressed will citizens all over Europe, but also international treaties, and appeals of the European institutions, who called on Romania to be wise and humane towards the stray dogs”, said Paun after the Court’s decision.


FOUR PAWS underlines that the stray dog problem only can be solved by long term strategies including a package of measures including systematic birth control, this done by joined forces with NGOs and veterinarians. Overnight options are not available. The term “euthanasia” used by its original meaning, is an individual  medical act to release an animal from severe suffering executed by a veterinarian. This is the contrary of mass killing of healthy animals which is illegal in most European countries. This is why the organization had supported veterinarians’ resistance against mass killing. In short FOUR PAWS stands for the responsible ownership principle means a national wide programme of the government with an integrated concept of broad information and education of the citizens, promoting adoption programs, systematically covering sterilization,  identification by microchip, mandatory registration and last but not least qualifying the abandoning of pets as cruelty charged with effective penalties. “We remain open to work with mayors who want to solve the situation on the strays in a professional and humane way”, concluded Paun.