The Chamber of Deputies’ administration committee yesterday approved a bill allowing the euthanasia of stray dogs, according to HotNews.ro. The law, which provides that aggressive and sick dogs will be euthanised and the rest will be sheltered, was approved by the committee with 16 votes in favour and six against (from opposition MPs). The final decision belongs to local councils. The draft law will be sent to the Chamber of Deputies’ plenum, which has the final say on the project.
During debates on the bill, representatives of several animal rights organisation staged a protest in Izvor Park, in front of the Palace of Parliament. “We were expecting the committee’s decision because they did not analyse our propositions. They were shallow in their approach and they didn’t take into account the recommendations made by the European Parliament either. We will continue to lobby and make our propositions known,” a representative of Cutu-Cutu Association told Realitatea TV channel. Animal rights NGOs held several demonstrations at the Palace of Parliament last month, insisting that euthanasia of stray dogs is not a solution and demanding a sterilisation campaign instead.
“We are staging this protest against the intention of resorting to euthanasia en masse or leaving the management of stray dogs in the hands of local authorities, against spending tax-payers’ money for killing and supporting extermination camps, against excluding the control of civil society on the actions taken by services in charge of managing stray dogs,” the National Federation for Animal Protection said in a release yesterday.
The bill was initiated by Bucharest Prefect Mihai Atanasoaei. Under his proposal, severely ill animals, aggressive ones and those that are not adopted in seven days will be euthanised. According to the prefect, the law is in line with European legislation and encourages adoption of stray dogs. According to NGOs, there are about 40,000 stray dogs in the capital, but the local administration puts the number at about 100,000.