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Parliamentary questions
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2 December 2011
Question for written answer E-011392/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Andrea Zanoni (ALDE)

 Subject: Unacceptable law on putting down stray dogs in Romania
 Answer in writing 

On 22 November 2011 the Romanian Parliament adopted a new national law giving the country’s mayors greater powers to decide how to deal with stray dogs. To combat the problem of strays, the new law introduces the possibility of sick, aggressive or dangerous dogs being put down within only three days of capture. The procedures for local councils to take this decision are not specified, and the concept of ‘public consultation’ on putting down dogs that are not sick or dangerous after 30 days remains vague. Promulgation of the law by the Romanian President, Traian Băsescu, is now awaited.

International animal charities such as Save the dogs, Four Paws and CAROdog maintain that the Romanian Parliament’s decision is unjustified and is guided only by economic interests. According to the WHO Expert Committee on Rabies, Eighth Report (Geneva 1992, Series No 824, p. 31), ‘There is no evidence that removal of dogs has ever had a significant impact on dog population densities or the spread of rabies.’

Does the Commission consider that this law is in conflict with Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty, which defines animals as ‘sentient beings’?
What is the Commission’s opinion of this law in the light of written declaration 26/2011 ‘on dog population management in the European Union’ adopted by the European Parliament on 13 October 2011, which expressly ‘calls on the Member States to adopt comprehensive dog population management strategies which include measures such as dog control and anti-cruelty laws’?
What concrete action does the Commission intend to take on the protection of dogs in Romania as part of the 2013-2018 strategy for animal welfare set for the end of the year?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 180 E, 21/06/2012
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