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Romania turns down dog killing law

When the Romanian Senate passed a law that would effectively sanction the mass killings of stray dogs last November, it seemed as if more than a decade of extensive efforts to improve the situation in Romania had been in vain. But now the Romanian Supreme court has stopped the bill and declared various passages therein as unconstitutional.

FOUR PAWS had, along with two local animal welfare organisations and politicians of several parties, appealed the new law at the constitutional court. The objection was allowed, which makes President Traian Băsescu's pending approval of the amendment very unlikely. Eight out of nine judges have backed this turn of events.

The international wave of protest that had accompanied bill no. 912 since late November of 2011, has reached its main goal. In technical terms it is two of the draft law's paragraphs that have been declared unconstitutional: Article 6 would have legalised the euthanasia of any roaming animal that does not get adopted within a few days, as well as Article 8, which harrasses those willing to adopt an animal with an absurd amount of paper work and restrictions, none of which applies to buying an animal at a pet shop. The bill will now be sent back to the Senate, stripped of its two core clauses. FOUR PAWS delegates in Bucharest were relieved at the outcome and thanked Romania's senior judges for their prudent decision.

Stray dog killings have no impact on population size

A scientific study published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has long since concluded that mass killings cannot resolve the issue of overpopulation among stray animals. The main reason for this is simple: by eliminating the incumbents of a certain territory, new space is created for others, starting the natural cycle all over again. This is why FOUR PAWS returns every single animal, after it has been treated, to its original habitat. This is the best solution for the animals, who are safer and healthier. But it also creates rulers without heirs and thus reduces the population size, generation after generation. It is vital, though, that there are efficient political steps to go along with that. Most significantly, preventing dogs from being abandoned in the first place, which is and always has been the main source of population growth. Since 1995, FOUR PAWS has neutered and provided care for 100,000 stray animals worldwide.