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Upcoming Vote on a Romanian law enables mass killings of dogs: Appeal by Members of the European Parliament


18 Mar 2011


EU Priorities 2020
Health & Consumers

Brussels, Friday 18th March, 2011: On Thursday, MEP and Vice President of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals of the European Parliament Elisabeth Jeggle, sent an Appeal by MEPs to the President and to the Parliament of Romania concerning the voting on the law permitting mass killings of stray dogs. This was initiated by the International Animal Welfare Foundation FOUR PAWS / VIER PFOTEN. With this Appeal, the MEPs urged the Romanian Parliament to respect animals as sentient beings, as set out on the Treaty of Lisbon (Art. 13, TFEU), which has to be considered by all Member States.

On Tuesday, March 2nd, the Romanian Stray Animals Law, PL 912, was discussed in the Committee for public administration of the Deputy Chamber. While the basic rules for the management of stray dogs follow the “catch, neuter and return” method, a working group has submitted a fundamental change of this approach stating that “after 14 days, the dogs will be killed or sterilised depending by decision of the local Council (municipality)”. This would open up the possibility of cruelty towards dogs on the streets.

Due to public concern and pressure in Romania in view of such a fundamental change in the law, as well as a press conference organized by several animal welfare organisations in Romania and many activities all over Europe, the voting process was postponed and will now take place on Monday 21st March.

“The planned change of the law is not acceptable by ethical, social and economic reasons”, says Daciana Octavia Sârbu (MEP and Member of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development), and Marlene Wartenberg (FOUR PAWS / VIER PFOTEN). Elisabeth Jeggle stated: “We as representatives of the European citizens and as Members of the European Parliament politely and urgently ask the Romanian Parliament to consider the position of the European Parliament, which also represents the Romanian people, and vote in the European spirit, based on ethical responsibility”.

Marlene Wartenberg explains: “This development is not in line with the European perception of Animals as “sentient beings” integrated in the Lisbon Treaty. This is a basic principle that has to be respected by all Member States”. The valid legal situation is to avoid the killing of healthy animals and to support the sustainable birth control solution, the “catch, neuter, release” approach, developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the prevention of rabies control. This approach is the only way to follow the principle of responsible ownership as a solution against canine overpopulation in Europe. FOUR PAWS offers Stray Animal Care programmes using this approach where possible, with a focus on Eastern European countries.

For additional information please contact:

Dr Marlene Wartenberg
Director, European Policy Office
Mobile: +32 476 89 38 21
Office: +32 2 740 08 88


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