On Wednesday 25 September the Romanian Constitutional Court decided to uphold the “stray-killing” law hastily approved by the Romanian Parliament on 10 September, officially consigning to death tens of thousands of stray dogs starting in the coming weeks.
Several organisations have been working in Romania to prevent canine overpopulation through spay/neuter and adoption campaigns, despite receiving little or no help from national and local authorities. However, the tragic death of a child on 2 September – allegedly mauled by stray dogs – triggered nationwide emotional reactions in the media and from politicians, who rapidly approved a law that allows the mass killing of dogs for overpopulation control. This is not only cruel to the dogs, but has also proved to be ineffective wherever it has been tried before.
In the last few days, WSPA wrote to all members of the Constitutional Court urging them to rule against the law, but unfortunately the plea went unheeded and the Court decided to uphold it after less than 4 hours of discussion. President Traian Băsescu signed the new law immediately, meaning stray dogs will be legally killed in a matter of days from now.
The euthanasia law comes 4 weeks after the alleged mauling of a 4-year-old boy in Bucharest prompted the government to rush through the legislation allowing the killing of strays. Doubts have since been cast over the exact details concerning the boy’s tragic death.
WSPA’s extensive experience of working on dog management programmes around the world clearly shows that this legislation is impractical, inhumane and ineffective and will not provide a long-term solution to Romania’s long-standing issues with stray dogs.
You can sign the petition to the Romanian Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, asking for a suspension of the implementation of the new law that allows the killing of dogs, on the WSPA website.