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The Romanian Constitutional Court has given the green light to the stray dogs law. The law clearly establishes the conditions in which authorities can resort to the final and most extreme solution, euthanasia. Gathered on Wednesday, the members of the Constitutional Court analyzed the appeal filed by 29 senators, after the law had passed through the Chamber of Deputies, the decision making body in this case, and ruled that the law does not contain provisions that are not constitutional. It is estimated that there are around 65 thousand stray dogs in Bucharest alone, as the law providing for sterilization alone failed to solve the situation. The issue came rather suddenly to the public attention, after early this month a four-year-old boy was killed by stray dogs near a park in Bucharest. The investigation is still underway, and reactions have not faded, both on the part of those saying that the situation is out of control and on that of those who oppose euthanasia and say it’s not dogs’ fault that things have turned so dramatic. After the tragic incident, the stray dog law was brought to Parliament under an emergency procedure and was immediately passed. According to the new law, dogs may be euthanised if they are not claimed or adopted within 14 working days, during which time they are kept in shelters. The Constitutional Court’s decision was eagerly expected by animal rights activists, gathered in front of the Parliament Palace. When hearing the ruling, some of them blocked the street to protest against the decision. The President of the Constitutional Court, Petre Lazaroiu, has stated that previous rulings had not forbidden euthanasia either. Petre Lazaroiu:“The main argument brought by those who voted was that last year the Court did not actually forbade euthanasia; euthanasia was stipulated and allowed just like any other alternative measure. Those who drafted the law were careful to provide solutions applicable for various stages, therefore this does not run counter to what we ruled in January 2012”. The appeal filed by the senators stated that the law breaks international animal protection principles and that euthanasia should be used in exceptional situations. Radio Romania International
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