Yesterday, the 17th of December 2007, something happened that nobody would have ever expected: the Romanian Chamber of Deputies voted almost unanimously in favor of a bill to protect animals (revision of Law 2005/2004). The new law contains two huge new provisions: it prohibits the killing of healthy dogs and cats and sanctions the abandonment of privately owned animals.
Although the bill did not make explicit mention of stray animals, we believe that the new law represents a first step in modifying Ordinance 155, which since 2001 has been the basis upon which stray dogs have been put to death. This Ordinance will be brought up for discussion in February 2008, in light of the new law approved yesterday. Only then will we know how concretely the question of the management of strays will be resolved.
The vote yesterday is the result of the efforts made by Senator Marinescu, who in the few last months has met with many Romanian associations as well as STD, and all those who have put pressure on the European Union and the Romanian government over the years to end the slaughter (among them STD, partner associations and all our supporters). We will keep you informed of the developments over the next few months, aware that it will take some time before the law goes into effect and that a great new challenge will arise for STD: to ensure that the new law has not been approved in vane. As a matter of fact, it is fundamental that we put pressure on Romanian institutions so that they apply the “sterilize and release” programes at the national level, in order to efficiently combat the stray animal problem that will otherwise remain a social evil without a solution.
Laurentiu Vasilescu and Andreea Manea (Chairman and Administrator of STD in Romania) in front of the Parliament in Bucharest.
Andreea donates a flower to a Deputee just before the vote
The Romanian Senate has unanimously approved two drafts; the former radically emends Ordinance no. 155, that has allowed the catching and killing of strays since 2002, while the latter is a more generic draft on animal protection.
Activists in front of the Senate during the voting procedures
It’s a first, very important step, although the last word will be spoken by the Chamber of Deputies on December, 17th, 2007. On Monday, 17th, STD will demonstrate with Romanian animalists and activists outside the Chamber of Deputies to show their support to the amendment. The Deputies’ approval would set a milestone for Romanian animals and for all those who have suffered with us for years in witnessing this slaughter, in the endeavour to put an end to it.
Time has passed since the latest news from Calarasi. Unfortunately, the current news is not the best. The Town Hall continues to capture and kill the dogs in a chaotic and disorganized manner. Sometimes the dogs remain in the temporary shelter just one day, sometimes one week. According to our information, the medicine provided by law are being used, even though the cruelties in the streets go on. With the winter holidays approaching, the mayor decided to stop the captures temporarily, which will restart in 2008, though.
As far as the Sufletel Shelter is concerned, following the President’s demand for 5,000 Euro as’ “reimbursements” for taking over his association, STD has decided, momentarily, not to take the structure into administration and just to help the poor animals with food provisions.
Starting this November, a young graduate veterinarian from Calarasi is doing his training in Cernavoda, hoping to be able to sterilize at least the animals with owners. In this case, the van will be moved from Medgidia and transferred (probably in spring) to Calarasi.
The dogs have been captured in the shelter before being killed. In the picture above, the dog catchers at work on the streets