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This petition was started by Occupy for Animals on 18th of October, 2013. 

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Soon Drobeta-Turnu Severin will enter history as the first Romanian municipality to implement the 'Slaughter Law' and to kill 577 dogs at once!

In an article published in the Romanian media on 16th of October, 2013, Mayor Constantin Gheorghe, stated that he would implement the 'Slaughter Law' allowing the 'euthanasia' of ALL animals who can be caught - including the gentle ones, the pregnant bitches, the puppies, the sterilized ones, the social ones, the community dogs who have never hurt anyone - after a '14-days-pre-slaughter-period' spent in one of Romania's death camps, and kill all 577 dogs that are currently held in the local public shelter. 

To justify such inhumane, morally repressive decision that makes the blood of any person with compassion and a slight sense for justice, chill in his/her veins, the mayor proclaimed that he cannot accept to pay more for the 'maintenance' of the dogs than for an old man in need, or for a child, all the while boasting that his town has got the stray animals issue almost under control; that, although there has been discord in this segment, he did not hesitate to do the job and that he believes that he "controlled the situation".

We think the mayor's statements -- his intention to kill so many animals and believing the situation was under control -- are quite in contradiction, but let's put logic aside. For now... 

As stated in the same article, according to the figures provided by the accounting service of the town hall, the municipality of Drobeta-Turnu Severin, spends between 1,200,000 and 1,300,000 LEI per year, ie around 100,000 lei per month on the 'maintenance' of the homeless animals. According to the logic behind the mayor's statement this would then be the amount that the municipality would spend to help people in need. 

We are afraid that the mayor's statement is nothing but the kind of propaganda, that aims at making the criminal acts of violence look lawful and acceptable to the public, but that he has no serious intentions in spending the money on the young or the elderly.

But we will see... We will not miss to contact the mayor in a few months and inquire, although also here, we have already doubts that we will even receive an answer because the mayor is known for fleeing when confronted with uncomfortable questions. So happened early this year, in May 2013, when Court Representatives, followed by journalists, visited the town hall in order to proceed to regular checks regarding the accountability of the municipality...

By signing this petition, the message that you read below will instantly be sent to: 

To: The Mayor of Drobeta Turnu Severin, Constantin Gherghe

Copy to:
The Council of Europe
The President of the European Commission, Mr Manuel José Barroso
The President of the European Parliament, Mr Martin Schultz
The Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Petitions, Mrs Ermina Mazzoni
The Honorary President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, Mr Carl Schlyter
The President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, Mr Dan Jorgensen
One of the Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, Mrs Daciana Sarbu


and to: different media representatives and different Romanian government officials

Letter to
Council of the European Union
President DVS Mehedinti
The Romanian Police Chief Commissioner
and 17 others
The President Ministry of Tourism
President AOR
President Romania Tourism
President ANSVSA
President AMR
President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz (President of the European Parliament)
The Secretary of the County Council
The President of the County Council
European Commission
Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Petitions Mrs Ermina Mazzoni
Honorary President of the European Parliament's Intergroup Mr Carl Schlyter
President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals Mr Dan Jorgensen
Eurogroup for Animals Mr Erler
President of the Council of Europe President of the Council of Europe
Media representative
Media representative
President of the European Commission Mr Manuel José Barroso (President of the European Commission)
Don't kill the 577 dogs!

Mr Mayor,

we read with interest about your intention to 'euthanize' 577 animals which you regard as not being cost-effective to support, compared with the young or the elderly.

And we read with deep sorrow that you have taken such a inhumane, morally repressive decision that makes the blood of any person with compassion and a slight sense for justice, chill in his/her veins, all the while boasting that your town has got the stray animals issue almost under control - that, although there has been discord in this segment, you did not hesitate to do the job and that you would believe that you "controlled the situation".

This statement is in contradiction with your decision to kill these 577 sentient beings actually kept in the local pound and we do not understand the logic behind it.

You have probably already heard that Catch-Neuter-Return is the only proven humane and effective method to reduce stray animal populations. Statistical studies indicate that in order to fully control a stray population, you need to achieve a 70 percent sterilization rate of the animals within a particular community. Once you reach the 70 percent threshold, the probability that an un-sterilized female comes into contact with an un-sterilized male is sufficiently small, and the population stops growing.

But the problem is not just stray dogs, the problem is loose dogs. Given that most owned dogs and cats in Romania are NOT sterilized but allowed to roam freely and to mate as they wish and that their off-spring is then simply being abandoned, such sterilization campaigns MUST include ALL owned dogs.

Killing stray animals does not stop the problem and only offers a temporary “solution”. The World Health Organization’s “Guidelines for Dog Population Management” (Geneva 1990) and various other academic studies show that killing dogs is ineffective because it addresses only the effect but not the cause. The more dogs you kill, the more space and food there is for new dogs and the World Health Organisation backs this up. As long as people dump dogs on the street and let dogs loose on the street to breed, there will be more dogs. When dogs disappear, other dogs appear.

Without the implementation of a massive sterilization campaign that MUST include all owned dogs, your streets will never be free of dogs and you will be confronted with the same problem again in a few years from now.

We are sorry to say it, but your intention to kill all dogs at the local pound is illogical and very short sighted and we would like to ask you to please reconsider your decision.

And you should please also consider that many of these 577 dogs have already been sterilized, that some are considered community-dogs and are even semi-owned. That most are not aggressive, but gentle, socialized and that they have probably never hurt anyone and that there are probably very many people in your town who love animals, including the stray animals. These people have the right to love and care, but the official policy of animal mass slaughter that you support, negates this right and makes it invalid, and in this respect, animal rights violations are at one with human rights violations.

Please know also that people are already organizing themselves on social networks such as Facebook to save as many animals from your local pound as possible, but given that you have restricted the visiting hours and that adoptions are only possible on Thursdays from 2 til 4 o'clock, this seems to be impossible to do, simply because of an ill-considered organisation.

Killing all these animals without having given them any chance for a better life, will also very negatively affect the image of your entire beautiful city and it will inevitably have repercussions on the tourism-industry of which your town also depends. Romania is already a "red flag on the map" of most people in Europe and even around the world, and many have already decided not to visit your country neither to buy any products originating in Romania. And those who will visit will make sure not to support a town of which they know that homeless animals have been killed there in huge numbers, but they will rather chose one of those municipalities that have confirmed that they would NOT implement the 'Slaughter Law'.

Please reconsider your decision, Mr Mayor. Please make the humane choice and everybody wins... because the question is not a marginal one but it affects the opinions and attitudes of millions of sensitive and caring people across the world who can grasp the meaning of suffering and commiseration.

In case you decide to go ahead with your killing-plan, may we send a representative to ensure that your proposed plans are correctly widely reported and to explore why in Romania, European standards are not exercised? Why European directives and laws such as the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals of which your country is a signatory, the Written Declaration on Dog Population Management, the European Parliament Resolution from 4th of July, 2012 and last but not least, the OIE-Regulations on Stray Animal Population Management, are not upheld despite the abject management failures of controlling the stray animal populations throughout Romanian history?

The 'Making The Link' Study and Project Group, of which our organisation, Occupy for Animals, is a project-partner, is conducting a major study program in Romania in collaboration with a large number of international universities, and never having had such a large mass killing in any major European city, we are eager to ensure that this strategy and event are not misreported. Nowhere in Europe has it been deemed necessary to kill so many animals with alternative means always being implemented to manage the situation, and we would like to send a representative to Drobeta-Turnu Severin to fully report on this unique and tragic event.

We would be eager to know if you will kill all the animals at the same time? Will you be present when this event takes place? Will you supervise the killing and make sure that they will be killed 'humanely' without causing them unnecessary fear and pain?

We would like to interview those vets who conduct this slaughter. Killing live creatures can impact on human's psychological health, as you are no doubt aware. It is a singularly unnatural process.

In the remainder of Europe, euthanasia of healthy animals is forbidden and against veterinarian's Code of Conduct, and we understand that in Romania such European standards, policies and laws are deemed irrelevant as indeed both the Romanian Veterinarians Code of Ethics and the Decision nr. 24/03.12.2011 of the National Council of Veterinarians, will have to be ignored.

Can we understand that the wife of your Prime Minister, Victor Ponta, who claims payment from European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, and who has been instrumental in creating the Written Declaration on Dog Population Management 0026/2011, is unaware of your intentions which are directly opposed to her position?

Or can we assume that Daciana Sarbu has contacted you? As you are aware also, her position becomes completely untenable with each event such as the one which you have proposed.

We sincerely hope that you will reconsider your decision and collaborate with your local animal protection organisations and volunteers who will help you to re-home as many animals as possible.

In the event that you don't want to reconsider your position on this matter, we would like to wish you good luck with your future projects to support people in need and you can be assured that we will not miss to contact you in a few months from now to inquire how you have used the 100,000 LEI per month that you have, according to your municipality, until now spend on the 'maintenance' of the homeless dogs, for the benefit of the elderly and children in need.

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