Activities in Europe
The killing of thousands of stray dogs in Romania since 2001 takes place on the basis of a national law, duly approved by the Romanian Parliament. The approval of this law has been possible because it has never been approved at European level a Directive which prohibits the EU member states to manage with these methods the pets “in excess”.
The use of euthanasia (even if in Romania we talk about real “killing”) as a tool to contain the canine and feline population is unfortunately widespread even among other European countries, despite the fact that the stray dogs issue is very different throughout the continent and in some cases does not exist at all.
The map helps to understand the patchy picture of the situation and the need for a legislative harmonization in the EU, very difficult to obtain since pets have always been considered a topic related to the culture and traditions of each people, an irrelevant issue from an economic and health point of view.
For this reason the answer from Brussels to the million of signatures and letters sent in recent years asking to stop massacres such as that in Romania has always been: “This is not a matter of our competence”.
We are not afraid to say that the technicians in Brussels made a manifest error of assessment, given the outburst of the trade of purebred puppies (from East to West), which has consequences both economically and sanitarily. Moreover the stray phenomenon itself (where it is endemic, as in Romania) represents a risk for the public health with significant social and health costs, that cannot be ignored by the institutions.
For some time, therefore, many associations started a patient lobbying, pressuring the European Parliament and Commission to develop a legal framework with guidelines for the member countries that ensure better protection for dogs and cats in the EU.
Save the Dogs does not have the resources to hire a full-time lobbyist working in Brussels and Strasbourg. Yet through direct activities of its president and by participating in a European network launched in 2014 by Dogs Trust (the EU Dog & Cat Alliance), Save the Dogs has been committed in recent years to lobby and influence the European “decision makers”.
On September 27 the European Parliament housed an event organized by the EU Dog & Cat Alliance on illegal trade of dogs and cats in the EU. Save the Dogs, member of the alliance, participated on behalf of the President Sara Turetta representing both Italy and Romania.
We are calling for an Action Plan to efficiently tackle the illegal trade in dogs and cats in the EU, a phenomenon that involves hundreds of thousands of animals.