On 7th of March, 2014 IREC's expressed reservations in their paper 'Right of Reply' regarding the article called 'Neglect of Stray Dogs-MEPs Deliver Damning Indictment of Romania's Mismanagement' published by Dr Rita Pal on Huffington Post, and later "apologized" to Dr Pal on their Facebook-page:
"Dear Rita Pal please do not take our letter personally - we know you
are probably just another victim of extremist groups' untruthful
propaganda. Please see this interview with Mr. Dominic Taylor - perhaps
it will help you get a better grasp on the truth about strays in
Romania. He is a British expat businessman who talks about the magnitude
of the stray dog problem he's experienced first-hand in Romania."
Dr Pal responded:
"The small minded often make assumptions about the broad minded.
Secondly, your assumptions, of course, are inaccurate. Thirdly, no one
is disputing overpopulation. The evidence demonstrates culling is not
the way forward. To deny this is to deny evidence.
I have read
all you have written in the past and find your position unconvincing,
misdirected and non-evidence based. You are welcome to write whatever
you wish. It does amuse me because I consider your narrow spectrum
viewpoint to be non-evidence based. That is all I have to say on the
I take nothing personally. I merely observe with a
great deal of amusement. I give your letter a 2/10. Next time write your
evidence in reference or link form and argue your points better. I have
no objection to your right to free speech. I do have mine as well. It
is for the audience to judge which of us is right. For us to judge
ourselves would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
I bid you Good Night and may I suggest you take up knitting as it would be a more constructive use of your time. All the best!"
It is with delight that we use the opportunity to respond to the IREC's
'Right to Reply' and to be able to correct a number of errors and
misrepresentations contained therein for the benefit of the Romanian
As said before, the article by Dr Rita Pal, referred
to is in fact NOT a personal perspective but a representation of the
conclusion and perceptions of the European Union authorities. Recent
visits by representatives of this authority found that they had been
deceived by the Romanian authorities and that both stray animal control
strategy and it's implementation were inconsistent with European
policies and directives.
Taking each point in turn,
recognizing the naive mis-interpretations and mis-representations
included in this 'Right to Reply', we seek to inform not only IREC but
also the Romanian people of the true realities.
- That there are too many stray animals on the streets of Romania is agreed by all.
- That some of these dogs are aggressive is agreed.
- That the situation is undesirable to all.
- The only question that remains is how to achieve a successful conclusion.
The reasons why there are so many on the streets is generally agreed.
No major national program has ever been conducted, so numbers have
continued to increase. Endeavors to control the animal population by
catching and killing have failed abysmally whereas major programs where
the animals were neutered, although not producing an immediate result,
after 6-7 years reduced numbers on the streets significantly and most
Almost all countries in Western
Europe and the USA have used a national neutering program and where
stray animals are generally conspicuous by their absence. In Romania
this was also achieved in Oradea and Lugoj where stray animal numbers
were reduced from 4,000 to 270 and 2,500 to 235 respectively. Not only
have national neutering programs proven to be successful but they are
also recommended by the WHO as the only successful strategy.
response to the unique strategy of managing stray population numbers by
killing, currently being deployed in Romania, significant numbers of
people from western societies are adopting dogs both remotely and
transporting them physically outside of Romania to new western homes
where the animals will become members of the family. In one culture...
harmonious inclusion.... in another... divisive exclusion promoting
significant societal disharmony, violence and death.
also important for the Romanian people to know that not only is the Law
258/2013 promoting an animal control strategy which historically has
been proven to be unsuccessful compared with the strategy of a national
neutering program which has proven successful in many countries but the
selection of this strategy comes with a literal serious cost. From
Romanian government figures, we see that by enacting Law 258/2013
instead a neutering program, the Romanian taxpayer will contribute
almost twice as much to fund a program which has never been successful.
Instead of spending huge amounts of money on the promotion of violence
and corruption, a socially credible government invests the money into
the social infrastructure, of which the independent social movement is
one of essential foundations.
So let us take each of the points made and offer a sensible and real response to each.
- 258/2013 is NOT compliant with EU legislation (see our page)
- Animal control strategy by euthanasia is NOT compliant with WHO directives (see our page)
- The number of dogs adopted by people and organisations IS taking
place, but the quantification of numbers as 'very low' does not provide a
numerical basis to challenge.
- However the statement that NO
long distance adoptions have taken place is demonstrably incorrect with
for example in Craiova: approximately 100 dogs. Braila: 44 dogs.
Cernica and Batimanu: 750 dogs. In Bristrita, all dogs are sponsored
through international sponsors, last year 400 dogs were adopted by
groups in Europe, this year 30 have been adopted so far. The shelter
hasn't yet adopted the distant adoption, but volunteers are caring for
the dogs through sponsors.
- It is true that the problem of
dog bites and the rabies alert may be serious but it is the inevitable
consequence of the Romanian government's failed and abortive social
- Regarding REC's claim that "the legal conditions to
adopt a dog from a "shelter" are minimal", we would simply like to quote
what MEP Wojciechowski said about the adoption procedure after his
second visit: "Shelters are every often located in places which are
difficult to find and they are closed for people who wish to adopt a
dog. Although financed from public money, they are treated as private
ownership. Furthermore, adoption procedure is very complicated and it
makes adoption practically impossible." The limited access to shelters,
as evidenced by the delegation, actually renders all else an
- To say that the Romanian Slaughter Law was
comparable to the law in the U.K. is like comparing a Luxembourgian egg
to a book by Jean-Paul Sartre. Surreally different... In the U.K. in
2013, 48% of dogs who entered a shelter were reunited with their owners.
25% of dogs have been been re-homed. 8% have being euthanized because
of behavioral problems, ill health or because they are dangerous. A
stray in the UK is one who is owned but simply went on a touring holiday
for a few days...
And last but not least, the fact that the
Romanian people are being bitten by stray dogs and that there are even
fatalities reported, which need to be carefully analysed, is a clear
sign of the ineffectiveness or even a criminal neglect on the part of
the Romanian authorities which shamefully failed in the implementation
of the plausible and working social policy to win the support and the
co-operation of the social movements and the general Romanian public to
resolve the structural and social problem of animal homelessness through
socially-friendly policy of non-violence and honest public dialogue.
In fact, the degenerate quality of the Romanian social relations
compromises the set of values and standards of the European Community
thus exposing the weakness and inefficiency of the EU policy makers.
Our detailed reflections, important links as well as picture and video evidence are compiled in the following link:
In conclusion - and arguably most important of all - we would agree
with the statement that 'Romania is finally on the right track.' NOT
however by implementing a law which patently is historically
unsuccessful, ill-consistent with international directives and morals
but because the light of truth and reality is now beginning to shine in
the darkness after the second visit of the EU-delegation.
the Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, justification is given
to reduce significant numbers of stray dogs, it shall take the
appropriate legislative and/or administrative measures necessary to
reduce their numbers in a way which does not cause avoidable pain,
suffering or distress. The word that shouts from the page is
'avoidable'. As we have highlighted in the IREC response text, there is
another way: by introducing a neutering program, pain, suffering and
distress are 'avoided'.
This exchange is a watershed where we
have identified all the errors presented by IREC. We have responded with
evidenced truths and facts. Romania has lived too long in the darkness
of deceit and corruption.
And therefore, having identified the
multiple errors contained within the IREC Right to Reply, we freely
invite IREC to contact us for assistance before publishing erroneous
letter content. The people of Romania deserve no less than to have
access to the truth and to make their decisions accordingly.
would respectfully suggest that IREC retract all their statements which
have been proven here to be erroneous and misleading and to allow
Romania to really be 'on the right track'.
Only through truth is a democracy truly made.
- The Occupy for Animals Team