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The European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals is very concerned about the recent adoption of the law PL 912/2007 on stray dogs by the Romanian Parliament which has been heavily criticized by many citizens and animal welfare groups throughout the world.

With its Written Declaration N° 26/2011 on dog management in the European Union the European Parliament has clearly called on the EU Member States to adopt comprehensive dog population management strategies which include measures such as dog control and anti-cruelty laws, the support for veterinary procedures including rabies vaccination and sterilisation as necessary to restrain the number of unwanted dogs as well as the promotion of responsible pet ownership.

The European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup worries that if the new law will not be enforced in all its aspects it will be used by many municipalities as a license to kill dogs inhumanely, giving free rein to all sorts of cruelties towards stray dogs. We have had clear evidence that this has happened already in several Romanian municipalities for which Botosani is one example.

PL 912/2007 expresses the supreme will of the Romanian Parliament. It will be therefore difficult for President Basescu not to promulgate it. The credibility of the whole parliamentary institution and of the democratic system would be at stake.

The Intergroup calls however on the Romanian Parliament and on President Basescu to assume their full responsibility for the law and to make sure that it is enforced with a focus on humane population management strategies and the promotion of responsible pet ownership.

The Intergroup urges Romanian municipalities to inscribe the humane treatment of strays as a basic principle to be applied for all actions of stray dog control. PL 912/2007 cannot be reduced to a simple charter for the indiscriminate killing of strays.

Cruelty towards animals is unacceptable and against the EU values that Romania has adopted when joining the Community. There will be a public outcry not only in Romania but also on EU – and global level if there will be evidence of inhumane killings.

This case shows once again the need to give the European Union legal competence for the protection of companion animals. The harmonisation of legislation in the EU Member States could contribute to avoid such problems.

 

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