Bucharest General Mayor wants referendum on stray dogs
Sorin Oprescu on Wednesday told a press conference that he would call a referendum on whether stray dogs should be euthanized.
Oprescu explained that the popular consultation could take place on the last Sunday of September or on the first Sunday of October. According to the mayor, the Bucharesters will have one question to answer, namely whether they agree with this radical measure in the case of stray dogs.
The land owner and security guard of the location where the tragedy took place have been fined.
Two days after a four-year-old child was killed by stray dogs on a land owned by a company near Tei Park (Second District in Bucharest), the first repercussions appeared. According to a press release issued by the Second District City Hall, Second District Local Police Chief Aurel Dobrila and the General Manager of DGASPC (the General Directorate for Social Assistance and Child Protection) Isabela Hurjoi were sanctioned for not taking the necessary measures against the aggressive dogs. District Councillor Neculai Ontanu submitted a proposal for their dismissal to the Discipline Board. Bucharest Police sources cited by Mediafax claim that the administrator of the land near Tei Park was fined with RON 2,000 for not having a security plan and the guard overseeing the land was fined with RON 300.
A criminal investigation has been initiated at the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Court of Law in Bucharest regarding the circumstances surrounding the four-year-old child’s death after being attacked by a pack of stray dogs.
Razvan Bancescu, project coordinator at ASPA (the Animal Supervision and Protection Authority) claims that six dogs were picked up from the company-owned land near Tei Park, one of whom had blood marks and had been sterilised by ASPA and adopted by the Caleidoscop Foundation in 2008. According to the adoption forms, the Caleidoscop Foundation promised not to abandon the presumed killer dog and if the dog was no longer wanted, it would be handed over to ASPA. The form was signed by Lavinia Mirela Nica, then volunteer at Caleidoscop NGO. She had also taken responsibility for eight other stray dogs on behalf of the organisation. “It was an accident. My conscience is clear and I will continue my work of saving animals”, Lavinia Nica stated.
MEP and PDL member Sebastian Bodu submitted a notification to the Bucharest Police Department and ANSVSA (the National Veterinary Health and Food Safety Auhority), accusing the Caleidoscop Association of manslaughter.
“Once a dog is adopted, the adopter becomes its legal guardian and is socially and criminally liable for it. The terrible degree of irresponsibility shown by the association’s representatives cannot remain unpunished”, Bodu stated in a press release.
Basescu wants EGO, while Ponta leaves the issue to Parliament
Yesterday, the Legal Commission of the Chamber of Deputies discussed the procedure regarding the bill draft on stray dogs and agreed the debate would most probably be resumed in a joint meeting next week with the Administration Board and various local board policymakers. The announcement was made by Commission chairman Bodgan Ciuca.
President Traian Basescu and PM Ponta had an exchange of words on the issue of stray dogs. At a press conference on Tuesday evening at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, Basescu urged the Government to pass an emergency ordinance to regulate the situation of the stray ownerless dogs. ‘I am calling on the Government, because the local administrations have their hands tied by the legislation in force. I am urging the Government to issue an emergency ordinance setting a short or reasonable deadline for the dog lovers to take the stray dogs to their homes, keep them in kennels while the dogs left over may be euthanized immediately after,’ said Basescu, quoted by Agerpres. According to the President, the current legislation on dog neutering has proved to be a failure because the initial “theory” of leaving dogs to run free did not make citizens feel safe.
At the start of yesterday’s government meeting, Ponta replied that the issue of stray dogs is, indeed, serious and can no longer be ignored. The law in this respect is currently in the Parliament, he added, saying he hopes the “right solution” will be arrived at in the following days. “Fourteen years ago, the mayor of Bucharest (Traian Basescu – editor’s note) told us he would find a solution (to the stray dogs problem – editor’s note), but he did not do a thing. All of a sudden, just last night (Tuesday night – editor’s note) he issued an order. The bill draft is now in the Parliament; I ask Mr Dragnea to take part in the debates, so we can find a quick and efficient solution. (…) There are more dogs now than when Mr Basescu promised us a solution”, Ponta stated, as cited by HotNews.ro.
Yesterday, First District Mayor Andrei Chiliman made a statement similar to President Basescu’s, saying for RTF that the current law on stray dogs is inefficient and must be amended. In his opinion, stray dogs who are not adopted within no later than four months must be euthanatized. Moreover, Chiliman claims “certain NGOs have made serious amounts of money thanks to stray dogs”. The only person who has not yet made a public statement on this topic is the mayor of the capital, Sorin Oprescu. According to a notification by the Bucharest City Hall, Oprescu was scheduled to hold a press conference last night on the matter.
Another stray dog victim …
While the authorities blame one another and the law that could somewhat solve this problem is stuck in Parliament, another tragedy was barely avoided. A 63-year-old woman was bitten by a dog Tuesday evening, around the corner of Calea 13 Septembrie and Drumul Sarii. Leonard Grecescu, spokesperson for Spitalul Universitar stated for adevarul.ro that the woman is not in critical condition and was released from the hospital after a medical check-up. This incident occurred only the day after the tragedy from the Tei Park in Bucharest, involving the death of a 4-year-old boy and the leg dog bite injury of his 6-year-old brother.