Romania's answer to solve a stray dog problem is to round them up and kill them, which was just voted into law by Parlaiment September 10. This follows a report that a 4-year-old boy has died and his 6-year-old brother was injured after they were attacked by a pack of stray dogs outside a park in Romania. And in 2011, a woman was attacked a ultimately died of injuries suffered as a result of stray dogs.
The law allows the state to round up the city's estimated 60,000 strays and have them put down. Despite hundreds of protesters urging parliamentarians to vote against it, the law was overwhelmingly approved -- by a vote of 266 to 23 (with 10 abstentions). Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu had announced that a referendum would be held on Oct. 6 before deciding whether to go ahead with the plan.
Gabriel Paun, director for animal rights group 4Pfoten, told BBC News, a nation-wide sterilization strategy is necessary to control the burgeoning dog population.
"In the last few years we've castrated 100,000 dogs in Romania altogether, 10,600 of them in Bucharest," he said. "But it's not enough, this is a voluntary private project -- we need them to do the same thing at national level."
According to rescue group Any Dog, the cost of killing a street dog may be considerably higher than sterilizing.
Still, one can understand the breath of the problem - which apparently ballooned after the fall of communism. A Bucharest hospital spokesman told The Associated Press 9,760 people have been treated for dog bites in the first eight months of this year alone.
Certainly, living on the streets and scrounging meals, competing against so many dogs isn't a impressive quality of life for the dogs either, and many are mange ridden, there's canine distemper and likely rabies. The parliament acted after protests Sunday in which several hundred people came out with banners reading, "My country is not a kennel."
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