DOGS IN ROMANIA
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated - Matahma Gandhi
Click to download the following documents in pdf format:
Romania report animal welfare laws - containing the main points of animal legislation, the flaws, recommendations for its improvement
Romania report animal situation - containing the situation of the animals, typical abuse
Romania report photos typical abuse - containing some photos of animal abuse
Romania ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals - Strasbourg, 13.XI.1987 - which became the law 60/2004.
That means the responsibility for domestic pet animals lies within the sphere of responsibility of Government departments.
The law 9/2008 states: ANSVSA - The National Sanitary, Veterinary and Food Safety Authority) is the national authority governing the animal protection.
How do the Romanian authorities meet the responsibilities under the European Convention for the Protection of Pets?
Any ‘good’ Romanian citizen is permitted to breed in the backyard & abandon on streets as many litters as he or she likes, as often as possible.
These people are dog users, not owners. Their dogs never get to see a veterinarian doctor all their life. The dog users has no responsibility whatsoever towards their animals. The dogs are useful so long they are young and in good health. These dogs are lucky to be more resistant than others. One of the most frequent troubles with these category of dogs & users is the trouble of accidental litters. The solution to solve the problem is at everyone’s hand: the puppies or kittens are dumped in public transport stations, in markets, in railway stations, or cemeteries. The age varies from infants to 1-2 months.
The animal abandonment is a felony under the new law, but how to enforce such provisions, if the dogs are not identified & recorded? An admirable piece of legislation that is completely ineffective. Usually, from a litter, the males are preferred, the females are disposed of. Most female dogs get onto streets. They are the street dogs - hated, poisoned, beaten to death, stabbed, shot with fire guns, run over by cars, maimed, burned with tar, dumped in pits to starve to death. This is the fuel flow of dogs, from courtyards to streets, hundreds of thousands of innocent animals condemned to death every year, a pointless death that will never cease, so long Romanian authorities does nothing to prevent the strays phenomenon, so long they fail to address the cause, and fight only the effects.
Dog owners has no responsibility toward their dogs, or toward the society. They are not compelled to identify, register their dogs, or to spay them. Dog cruelty has a long history in Romania. The state authorities considers a sole method appropriate to reduce the street dog population: dog culling. Nothing to prevent the strays, nothing to educate people, or to hold the dog owners responsible for the costs they cause to society, for the suffering they cause to animals.
To declare the activity of commercial breeding of dogs is something unheard of.
Dog killing method and the amounts of public money spent
At the end of 90’s Bucharest mayor Viorel Lis was convinced by Brigitte Bardot, who visited Romania in 1999, to let the street dogs alive. About 10,000 street dogs were trapped, spayed/neutered and released during the period 1998 – 2000 in Bucharest.
The next mayor, Traian Basescu, immune at BB’s arguments, caught from streets and killed abt 100,000 dogs (see movie Bucharest Basescu BrigitteBardot killing dogs 2001) over the period 2001-2003. Many dogs were killed on the same day they were caught. In 2003 the administration for animal control/supervision (ASA) was reorganized on districts, and the activity stopped for 6 months.
In the summer of 2004 ASA resumed the activity, and in the next 4 years the number of dogs caught yearly was abt 13,000 -15,000. The number of adoptions 1,000- 2,000 dogs yearly; the others were killed.
Bucharest Basescu Brigitte Bardot killing dogs 2001 - COPYRIGHT VIER PFOTEN
One million euro a year
The 10 years of fighting the street dog population, with more or less visible results, drained 10,000,000 euro from the Bucharest city hall budget, most of money being used on food, medicines, equipment, rent. ASA runs today 2 dogpounds, one in Theodor Pallady (300 dogs capacity) and another one in Chiajna, for which they pay a rent of 12,000 euro to the mayor of Chiajna.
Even if Romania makes efforts to put the animal welfare legislation into line with European standards, even if the law 9/2008 bans the euthanasia of healthy animals, the changes are only in papers, and animals continue to die, hundreds of thousands of dogs every year, same like before. There are always explanations and excuses for any cruelty, and the authors of horrible mass killings are never held responsible, according to the law. This happens in Tulcea, Braila, Focsani, Onesti, Brasov and most of the cities and towns in Romania.
The responsibility for domestic pet animals lies within the sphere of responsibility of any Government department. In fact the Romanian authorities continue to deny and disclaim the responsibility for this critical problem.
What is the image abroad?
Alternative strategies: Animal Birth Control
The World Health Organisation (WHO) now recognises that dog slaughter often produces a short term effect. Even maximal catching rates (up to 24% of dog population per year) make no significant impact. Where dogs are removed others migrate into the area to fill the ecological niche.
In addition, killing is expensive and often not acceptable to the local community.
Recent recommendations advocate habitat control and control of the birth rate by surgical neutering.
Article 3 – Basic principles for animal welfare
- Nobody shall cause a pet animal unnecessary pain, suffering or distress.
- Nobody shall abandon a pet animal.
Article 4 – Keeping
- Any person who keeps a pet animal or who has agreed to look after it, shall be responsible for its health and welfare.
- Any person who is keeping a pet animal or who is looking after it shall provide accommodation, care and attention which take account of the ethological needs of the animal in accordance with its species and breed, in particular:
a. give it suitable and sufficient food and water;
b. provide it with adequate opportunities for exercise;
c. take all reasonable measures to prevent its escape;
- An animal shall not be kept as a pet animal if:
a. the conditions of paragraph 2 above are not met or if,
b. in spite of these conditions being met, the animal cannot adapt itself to captivity.
Article 5 – Breeding
Any person who selects a pet animal for breeding shall be responsible for having regard to the anatomical, physiological and behavioural characteristics which are likely to put at risk the health and welfare of either the offspring or the female parent.
Article 8 – Trading, commercial breeding and boarding, animal sanctuaries
- Any person who, at the time of the entry into force of the Convention, is trading in or is commercially breeding or boarding pet animals or is operating an animal sanctuary shall, within an appropriate period to be determined by each Party, declare this to the competent authority.
Any person who intends to engage in any of these activities shall declare this intention to the competent authority.
- The above-mentioned activities may be carried out only:
a. If the person responsible has the knowledge and abilities required for the activity either as a result of professional training or of sufficient experience with pet animals and
b. If the premises and the equipment used for the activity comply with the requirements set out in Article 4.
- The competent authority shall determine on the basis of the declaration made under the provisions of paragraph 1 whether or not the conditions set out in paragraph 3 are being complied with. If these conditions are not adequately met, it shall recommend measures and, if necessary for the welfare of the animals, it shall prohibit the commencement or continuation of the activity.
- The competent authority shall, in accordance with national legislation, supervise whether or not the above-mentioned conditions are complied with.
Article 12 – Reduction of numbers
When a Party considers that the numbers of stray animals present it with a problem, it shall take the appropriate legislative and/or administrative measures necessary to reduce their numbers in a way which does not cause avoidable pain, suffering or distress.
- Such measures shall include the requirements that:
i. if such animals are to be captured, this is done with the minimum of physical and mental suffering appropriate to the animal;
ii. whether captured animals are kept or killed, this is done in accordance with the principles laid down in this Convention;
iii. Parties undertake to consider:
iv. providing for dogs and cats to be permanently identified by some appropriate means which causes little or no enduring pain, suffering or distress, such as tattooing as well as recording the numbers in a register together with the names and addresses of their owners;
v. reducing the unplanned breeding of dogs and cats by promoting the neutering of these animals;
vi. encouraging the finder of a stray dog or cat to report it to the competent authority.