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March 31, 2023

Mayor Oprescu opposes stray dog euthanasia

General Mayor Sorin Oprescu said on Wednesday that he does not agree to proposals to euthanise sheltered stray dogs if they are not adopted in seven days’ time, because the method goes against his medical training and principles, daily ‘Gandul’ reported. He added however that if the proposals are passed, he will respect the law.

Oprescu also said that this issue has to be “decided by the society.” His comments came as earlier this week, Bucharest Prefect Mihai Atanasoaei said he filed with the Chamber of Deputies a series of amendments to stray animals’ legislation, which include euthanasia for stray dogs who are very ill or aggressive and for dogs in shelters who are not adopted in seven days. The proposals triggered a wave of criticism from animal rights organisations, which maintained that the measure is inhumane and furthermore, would cost more than reproduction control methods.

Oprescu added on Wednesday that city authorities have only recently began a campaign to neuter stray dogs and that no matter how much he wants to step up the process, only about 4,000 animals can be sterilised per month. “We have just begun dog sterilisation procedures. This doesn’t mean I forgot my promises to the people of Bucharest. But at the moment, with the laws we have, this is the solution,” Oprescu added.

Meanwhile yesterday, Social Democrat MEP Daciana Sarbu, member of the European Parliament’s commission for environment, public health and food safety, yesterday asked the European Commission to issue an official viewpoint on Atanasoaei’s project, Mediafax reported. Sarbu, who is also vice president of an EP intergroup on animal welfare, asked whether such a law would be in line with Lisbon Treaty provisions and asked the Commission for advice on the most efficient method to deal with stray dogs, “taking into consideration priorities related to people health and safety and with respect to animal rights.”

“The euthanasia project implies costs of about EUR 100,000 and this measure is justified with the fact dog euthanasia implies smaller financial efforts than holding them in shelters or neutering them. The proposal also limits dog adoption possibilities, so that if a dog isn’t claimed or adopted in seven days, it is automatically euthanised,” the MEP wrote in her letter.

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