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Ground breaking victory for FOUR PAWS as Romanian court suspends application norms of stray dog killing law

A great moment of success for FOUR PAWS and dog-lovers everywhere as the Bucharest Court of Appeal ruled in favour of suspending the draconian stray dog killing law, which has led to the killing of thousands of dogs throughout Romania. With immediate effect, the killing law has no legal framework to capture stray dogs or to issue a decision to kill them. Since January 2014, FOUR PAWS has been fighting against the legislation and calling for more humane, sustainable long-term solutions to the stray dog situation.


Thousands of strays have already been killed.
© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

FOUR PAWS calls for a humane solution.
© FOUR PAWS | Yavor Gechev

FOUR PAWS confident that humane solution can be achieved

"The Court’s decision to suspend the killing norms is a clear, independent signal that things do not work so far with the new killing law," says Gabriel Paun, Director of Campaigns at FOUR PAWS. "It brings us confidence in our goal to bring about a change from an emotional to a rational way to manage the stray dogs humanely."


Since January 2014 FOUR PAWS is fighting for a change to the legislation
© FOUR PAWS | Gabriel Paun

Norms contradict laws of higher force
Although the killing law came into force in October 2013, the methodology to be applied to the killing followed only in December 2013. Soon after, the mass killing started. Many thousands of stray dogs have been killed. Applying such methodology contradicted the responsibility that lies with the local authorities. “For example, according to this methodology, the local authorities could delegate the management of the stray dogs to any private company. This may open the floodgates to conflict of interests and haemorrhaging public funds," explains Paun. “Another example: public access to shelters was restricted, and consequently the adoptions were largely restricted.”


© FOUR PAWS | Mihai Vasile

FOUR PAWS calls for new legal framework for dogs
In the past few years, FOUR PAWS has focused on dealing with the main causes of stray dog populations: their reproduction. “With the financial support of our donors we have sterilised over 100,000 strays in Romania, which we are very grateful for,” Paun stresses. “However, our efforts will only bring safe streets and welfare for the dog if we are backed up by a rational law.”