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Imagine: Ana Poenariu/Mediafax Foto

After having been dormant for four  long years and after having been resent to the Commission of Public Administration under pressure from Romanian as well as international associations, in the end, the stray law has gone through. This morning, the version which was strongly desired by the President Basescu and by the Tourism Minister, Elena Udrea (in the photo in a nice photomontage which has been online for quite a while), has been approved with 168 votes in favor, 11 against and 14 abstentions. Contrary to the version that Senator Marinescu succeeded in gaining approval four years ago, the law goes against some fundamental principles, which for a long time were supported by associations and by animal lovers: the slaughter policy has not achieved anything. In fact, if anything, it has increased straying and squandering of public money. However, the pressure of Romanian mayors, besieged by citizens that cannot sleep at night or leave their house due to many strays, and the interest of lobby groups who always get a boost from catching and killing the dogs; got their way. Not even the bold opposition of Victor Ponta, secretary of PSD (Major Opposition Party) was enough, nor the multiple interventions from the Foreign Italian Minister via our Embassy in Bucharest.  In the same opposition (but also in the majority), certain positions emerged which contrasted with those of the leaders. All of which made the procedure long and exhausting, probably one of the most debated with regard to public opinion of all time.

The destiny of Romanian strays, therefore, rests on individual mayors: across referendums or district meetings, if they ascertain popular opinion and if they will lift a finger or not.  Unfortunately, STD believes that given the average level of education (especially in the countryside and provinces) and the demagogic approach of the majority of politicians,  there will not be many areas which will choose to  sterilize and release, which would control the dog population with efficient measures, like dog registration under ownership and sanctions for abandoning the animals. It is easy to anticipate that in the next few years thousands of animals will continued to be killed pointlessly, throwing millions of euros out the window (14 of which were spent in a city alone to kill strays from the period 2001 – 2007) causing useless deaths and atrocities to thousands of our four-legged friends. Perhaps, the only hope rests with the European Union, which have been urged for quite some time so that jurisdiction is assumed even for pets and not only for farm animals and those used for experimentation.  However, years will be necessary until guidelines are established which would stop the corrupt hands of Romanian politicians.

It is possible to visit the STD Facebook page to read the articles published by the Romanian press or visit the Mediafax and Hotnews links, who were the first to release the awful news.

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Signed by: 40 NGOs

The Democratic Liberal PartyPDL (we will use the Romanian term PDL hereinafter) members of parliament Sorina Placinta and Stefan Pirpiliu are trying to blame the civil society for the fact that the law project for managing the stray dogs population has been lying since 2007 in Sulfina Barbu’s drawer, their colleague from PDL.

What they are not saying is this: the initial law project had been created by experts and complied with the studies of The World Health Organization, the recommendations of the European Parliament and the oppinions of the local and international specialists. This law would have solved the Romanian  stray dogs problem for good if it hadn’t been blocked for 4 (four) years and then „massacred” by the PDL in order to be eventually promoted without any study of impact or feasibility.

If we were to apply the PDL principle “the NGOs do not want the problem to be solved because they will be left without the object of their activity”, we should assume that the SMURD Organization (which has collected the biggest funds from the 2% campaign) also has a secret terrorist brigade which is causing accidents so that they will always have an object of activity. The same way, the wellknown Greenpeace Organization also causes oil leackages, deforrestation and various similar actions meant to insure that they will received their funding in the future.

The method proposed by the NGOs “who do not wish that the stray dogs problem is solved” is precisely the one which had remarcable results in Oradea and Lugoj, a method which decreased the stray dog population by 90%.

In addition to this, the NGOs have received several refuses (without any motivation) when they have offered FREE help consisting of mobile clinics for spay/neuter campaigns, professional studies for a true solving of the problem, teams of veterinary doctors, training programs for the veterinarians in the field.

So, who is actually interested in keeping a stray dog population in the streets?? Is it the NGOs or some groups in the PDL?

As far as the accusations that “the NGOs do not know the laws” and “they are misleading the people”, these are certainly valid only for the PDL. So, contrary to the statements of the PDL, the law IMPOSES euthanasia and leaves to the liberty of the local councils JUST the method of managing the few dogs (if there are any left) which will not be killed within the first 3 days after being captured because sould be agressive, dangerous or ill.

Traian Basescu’s campaign of killing dogs has NOT been STOPPED by the NGO’s in 2002“, as the declarations of the PDL go, IT WAS STARTED by Traian Basescu in 2002, a campaign that lasted until 2008 and, even if unofficially is still on ILLEGALLY in many cities of Romania!

How do the PDL justify the fiasco of the mass killing program which took place between 2001 and 2008, the waste of 9 million Euros from taxpayers (only for Bucharest) or the 150.000 dogs killed in vain?

How do the PDL Bucharest justify the implementation of the same method which has been used for 10 years without any result?

They do not justify this in any way. According to PDL the complete failure of the program is not due to the used method, the incompetence, the tefth, the poor management of the public authorities. Yes, you guessed it: the failure is entirely the NGOs fault! The very NGOs which have spayed, dewormed and deflead, vaccinated and treated on their own expense (out of private money) 200.000 dogs, who have found homes for tens of thousands of dogs, who are running education campaigns in schools.

When a ruling party is investing so much money and so much energy for turning an aberration into law, and then invests even larger sums in order to sustain it, it means that that party is counting on a substantial profit after that particular aberration has become law.

If Elena Udrea, Sulfina Barbu, Roberta Anastase, Mircea Toader, Vasile Gherasim, Sorina Placinta, Costica Canacheu and the others responsible for the pro killing propaganda from the ruling party really think that this law has any other purpose than „releasing” some budgets for the elections campaign, we hereby invite them to a PUBLIC CONFRUNTATION with the representatives of the animal protection organizations. During this confruntation they will have the chance to explain in detail their arguments and motivation the same way the representatives of the NGOs have done it on so many occasions and are ready to do it anytime.

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