Official report shows Romanian child not killed by stray dogs
FOUR PAWS reveals
A false claim led to mass killings of stray dogs in Romania since December 2013. The Romanian killing law came into force in October 2013 following a tragic incident in which four-year-old boy Ionut Anghel was fatally injured by dogs in Bucharest exactly one year ago. Immediately after the boy’s death, the Romanian media reported that stray dogs killed him and the Parliament, at the urging of President Basescu, adopted a law that allows the mass killing of dogs. However, an official document of The Public Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice shows that the child was not killed by stray dogs, but by seven guard dogs owned by the company S.C. TEI REZIDENŢIAL S.R.L. BUCUREŞTI.
Society got cheated and manipulated
“It is outrageous how easily society got cheated and manipulated by emotions”, stresses Gabriel Paun, Director of Campaigns at FOUR PAWS. “The poor child was not killed by stray dogs, but tens of thousands of dogs have already paid the death penalty to wash away the guilt of the incapable government and its inability to manage the situation.”
FOUR PAWS received a report titled “Indictment” issued by The Public Prosecutor’s Office, attached to the Romanian High Court of Cassation and Justice. The report contains the results of the investigations related to the death of Ionut Anghel as a foundation for the official indictment of two entities and one individual: The Administration of Public Domain within the local council of Sector 2 of Bucharest, the company S.C. TEI REZIDENŢIAL S.R.L. BUCUREŞTI, and the legal representative of that company. According to the indictment, the prosecutors filed manslaughter charges against these three persons.
In the document it is written that “...the minors entered without any obstacle the private property of S.C. TEI REZIDENŢIAL S.R.L. Bucureşti, which was guarded by the seven dogs owned by the company...” and that “the defendant - S.C. TEI REZIDENŢIAL S.R.L. BUCUREŞTI - (...) did not take proper measures to prevent the canine attack against the minor Anghel Ionuţ Cosmin by fencing the area in order to keep its dogs exclusively on its property, in accordance with the legislation on the dog ownership, including dangerous and aggressive dogs”.
Furthermore, the Public Prosecutor’s document states that “In spite of the fact that some of the dogs that were captured from the field situated on Tuzla Street no. 50 were included since 2009 in the official registry of the Veterinarian Center Sector 2 within the Local Council of Sector 2 Bucharest, having been neutered, ear tagged and micro chipped, these dogs were not stray dogs in September 2013. The owner of the dogs was the defendant S.C. TEI REZIDENŢIAL S.R.L. BUCUREŞTI”.
According to the statements of Răzvan Băncescu, head of the Bucharest Animal Protection Authority (ASPA), at a press conference last Thursday, in Bucharest alone 16,000 stray dogs have been killed so far by the Bucharest municipality and 2,000 stray dogs are sheltered in public dog pounds. Furthermore, Băncescu acknowledged that half of these 16,000 dogs were killed illegally after the suspension of the implementation norms of the killing law. These norms were suspended following the decision of the Appeal Court of Bucharest on 20 June 2014, after legal action brought by FOUR PAWS. Since then the law cannot be applied and killing is illegal. FOUR PAWS filed a criminal complaint against several representatives of the ASPA management for breaking the Court of Appeal’s decision. Furthermore, FOUR PAWS filed a legal action against the Romanian government, asking the Court of Appeal to annul the illegal provisions of the methodological norms of the killing law.
Gabriel Paun: “President Basescu called the Parliament to make a killing law and they did it in a week. Băncescu keeps killing dogs illegally and spending public money, while punching animal lovers who try stopping him. The mayor of Bucharest, Mr. Oprescu, supports him. Prime Minister Ponta remains silent. Something has gone terribly wrong. We will take more legal steps here. We start with criminal Băncescu.”
Situation out of control
In July 2014, FOUR PAWS published a shocking report and video recordings of illegal activities in the vast majority of Romanian public dog shelters. A team of investigators visited and assessed 43 public shelters in Romania – from around 81 currently registered with the Romanian vet authorities – across 33 counties, including Bucharest. The results of the investigation are shocking: not one of these public shelters in Romania conformed to the law.
Up to 29 violations of the law have been identified in the shelters visited. Examples include dog cadavers lying among living dogs, overcrowding, bitches and their puppies kept with other dogs, a mixture of food and waste, including urine and excrement, on the floor of the dog cages, and residue able to leak between cages. Furthermore, traces of blood in many cages, and bleeding and ill dogs, have been observed in several shelters and documented by video recordings.
FOUR PAWS informed the veterinary authority responsible, ANSVSA, about these crimes, but we have not heard back from them. During June and August we visited the shelters again and the conditions had not improved. We lost trust in them so we urge Prime Minister Ponta to listen to the 62% of Romanians who are against killing and the 173,000 Europeans who wrote him letters to end the killing of strays.