FOCSANI (Vrancea county)

FOCSANI - Focus Tv - Audienta Tv

March 31st, 2009 - Focsani local council passed a project that was initiated by mayor Decebal Bacinschi, based on the law 227/2002, i.e. euthanasia of street dogs 7 days after impounding, if they are not adopted or claimed. The animal welfare organization Prietenii Animalelor was present at the council session and informed the councellors the project was in contradiction with the animal protection law no 9/2008. The local project passed at limit (11 votes of 21). Prietenii Animalelor (Animals Friends) informed that they would contest the local council decision initiated by Decebal Bacinschi with the Prefect (Gov’t representative), in charge to supervise the conformity of local decisions with the national legislation. A few years ago mayor Bacinschi’s statements outraged the dog lovers, that the strays should be used for gloves, and he intended to build a glove manufacture shop based on the free of costs ‘material’, even if the law had clearly forbidden the use of street dogs carcasses for commercial purposes.

Tens of dogs massacred at Focsani landfill (Ziarul de Vrancea)
Focsani, March 1st, 2008

60 dogs were shot at municipality landfill. The measure was taken after a rabies quarantine was declared in Focsani . The authorities used shot riffles,and the carcasses were carried at city landfill. FRPCA chairman says the law forbids the dog killing and the rabies eradication strategy provides the immunization of all animals suspected of rabies, not killing the animals.The authorities took extreme measures after the rabies quarantine was declared in Focsani . A day ago more hunters of the county hunters and fishermen association (AJVPS) Vrancea took their riffles and set about slaughtering the dogs suspected of rabies, on the basis of measures proposed by the local sanitary veterinarian authority (DSV) and approved by prefect.

AJVPS and DSV took this measure to counter the spread of rabies, said thespokesman for AJVPS, in the area where the case was reported.The hunters killed abt 60 street dogs in the outbreak area, the exterminationbeing not an easy task since the animals got scared and run away. It looks like these are not the first victims of the authorities’ hasty decision. Witnesses say the dog killing started a few days ago, after the rabies was confirmed in a fox found in a Focsani resident’s yard. Moreover, they say no dog was immunized, suggesting that was considered mucheasier to kill than to vaccine. Also, since Sunday when the rabid fox was found, no other rabid or rabies suspect animal were found. While the authorities were aiming at dogs, without testing whether they were positive for rabies or not, on the ground the fox had been found 9 street dogs familiar with the owner were alive, safe and not immunized. The bloodshed irritated everyone, especially for the cruelty of execution. “The killers’ used shot riffles to exterminate the strays. According to a city hall representative the carcasses were taken to a pit especially excavated at the landfill.“

AJVPS, DSV, police, gendarmerie, local council police were all involved in this action. 60 strays were shot in the landfill surroundings, close to the outbreak area. All carcasses are burned at landfill. The decision to kill the dogs were taken by DSV (veterinarian authority), following the discussions with the prefect’s office and Focsani city hall.The action was mandatory and legal, said the city hall representative.

Guns - the final solution

After dogs were killed, they were stuffed in plastic bags and dumped in apit. Blood traces, scared people and a question mark were left behind. Willthe slaughter of innocent and defenseless animals, not tested for rabies,continue? Authorities search for justification, saying that a human life ismore important than the life of an animal. “what happens if people get thedisease? The measure was mandatory. Tests for rabies are carried out only forbite cases. Protests are not correct. What to do? Let the man die to save thedog? The actions will continue for the next 3 months, during the rabiesquarantine”, said the city hall representative Filipache Sirbu.

The veterinarian in charge for the city says that there will be no more dog killed. “we made sure the animals were euthanized, city hall will take careof incineration”. The chief of DSV invokes the ANSVSA order no 4/31.01.2008,which says that in case of rabies, the street dogs can be killed by shooting.Ionel Duta admits that no other dead or suspect animal was found in the area,and the animals weren’t tested before killing. “We killed 49 dogs in theoutbreak area. No tests were performed, the order makes clear that all receptive animals in the outbreak area to be killed. The corpses were deposited in a 3 m deep excavation, bodies covered in soil. In the last week no other dead animal was found, but in other communes other cases were found, said DVS chief.

Animal welfare organizations

Animal welfare organizations ask for DSV heads to be dismissedFRPCA representatives says the actions in Focsani are revolting, and sees many illegalities in extermination act, that was endorsed by authorities. Mircea Serbanoiu says the ANSV order 4/2008 is abusively invoked, since the animal killing is permitted only in certain conditions. “This is an abusive decision of prefect’s office. Animals can be killed if the danger is imminent, if there are many cases of disease and rabies spreads quickly, which didn’t happen in Focsani , the case being isolated. A question mark is the fact that the 5 dogs near the fox escaped with a vaccine, and other tens were killed, said Mircea Serbanoiu, FRPCA chairman. Serbanoiu will fill complaint with prosecutors’ office regarding the abusive measures of DSV, which he accuses of incompetence and subordination to city hall. ‘The complaint will include the street dog management, the lack of justification for the money used. Even if DSV has the responsibility of control, DSV didn’t forbid an unauthorized dogpound to operate, which is an abuse, andwe’ll ask also the DSV chief to be dismissed. The animal protection lawforbids animal euthanasia. The program for rabies eradication provides that all the suspect animals to be immunized, not killed, which was abusively included in the prefect’s order. We’ll make complaint against the use of fire guns in an inhabited area’ said Mircea Serbanoiu. He said the rabies was used as pretext for the mayor, endorsed by the gov’t representative, to ‘solve’ the street dog problem in Focsani.

Horror movies at Focsani dogpound (Ziarul de Vrancea)
April 22, 2008

Dead dogs stuffed in plastic bags and dumped at garbage is the method of street dog management used by Focsani authorities during the quarantine.

A few citizens who went to rescue a dog were shocked after a guardian threw a live dog in the container prepared for cremation. They say the other dogs began to bite the helpless animal. They filmed the scenes an put the record at the disposition of a candidate for mayoralty. As soon as the election campaign started, the street dog problem stirred up the political atmosphere in the city.

A simply hallucinating video was filmed by a few animal lovers at the city hall dogpound, of Golesti - Focsani. Terrifying images with dogs thrown alive in containers or left to devour each other to death were presented to the journalists by a candidate for mayoralty.

The film shows more than 10 dogs wrapped in plastic bags in a container. Moreover, one guardian of the padock threw a dog still breathing over the dead animals, since other animals had begun to eat the dog alive.

Called to the scene, the city hall veterinarian entered the container and with bare hands took out the agonizing animal, that died shortly after at clinic.

Meanwhile the rabies quarantine is declared and the access to dogpound should be restricted.

The authorities offered various explanations. DSVSA Vrancea spokesman says the padock has no sanitary veterinarian authorization, and the head of department for street dog management says the authorization exists but is suspended.

The veterinarian of paddock contests the images, saying that the animals eat each other because they are aggressive, not because they are hungry.

Horror movie with nobody's dogs

All started when a few people went to rescue a dog taken by dogcatchers. The four people were shocked and filmed the scenes, making also not gentle comments for those who were supposed to take care of dogs.

'We arrived half an hour ago and a dog was being eaten alive. As I left to call somebody, the guardian threw him in the container. the guardian commented: 'you came and saved him'.

This is what the taxpayers pay for. look how they make barbecue, while the dogs are killed.

The dogs turn on each other in hunger. This is not possible in a country where we all pretend to be animal lovers. and there were tens of dead dogs in plastic bags' says a dog lover.

"live dogs are discharged together with the dead animals. this dog still blinking was taken in our presence out of the cage, since we complained that the others were eating him alive. To conceal the nasty situation the guardian threw the dog away, saying us that the doctor arrived and the dog is taken to be saved. Look how they treat the doctor we pay. This is what people pay for ... we raise our children with these images, these massacres. This is how we educate our children, our future".

According to the law, the animal carcasses must be cremated and the city hall must have a contract with a specialized cremator.

Many complaints, no fine

The spokesman of DSVSA was invited to see the film and said the paddock has no sanitary veterinarian auuthorization, since it doesn't meet the legal requirements.

The DSVSA representative said his institution will make an investigation, also with the quarantine in place until June 15. All they can do is to charge fines to the city hall.

Even if there were many complaints of the Romanian Federation for Animal Protection&Control, the president visiting Focsani frequently to complain about the cruelty acts on animals, the DSVSA representative couldn't remember it. All that he could say is that the city hall wasn't fined, even though the paddock is not authorized.

How the officials decline the responsibility

Unfortunately, the owner of all ownerless dogs of Focsani, that should have solved this problem time ago, avoid the explanations. Invoking a session, the mayor Decebal Bacinschi sent a few people in his subordination to give explanations. The head of the dept. for street dog management said that the paddock is authorized, but the authorization is temporary suspended, in February, at the same time with the beginning of rabies quarantine.

As regards the dead animals in container that should have been sent to crematory, he said the refrigerator broke down, and the carcasses were kept in a container. Also Protan had a drivers shortage and couldn't collect the carcasses. By coincidence, the animal lovers happened to be there at the right time to film how the municipality take care of dogs. As regards the cause of death, the dogs died of natural causes, he said, being excluded the euthanasia or the indifference the dogs are treated with.

With bare hands and shots done

In full rabies quarantine, the veterinarian got in the container filled with dead dogs and took out an agonizing dog, without the minimum protection, gloves. "I was bitten by a dog, and I am under treatment, so the immunization is done". The dogs in paddock are also immunized since the quarantine was declared. As we asked to see the dogs, the veterinarian changed his mind: Only the dogs from the sectors 2-3 got the immunization done, those in 1-4 sectors, not yet.

The veterinarian excludes that the animals devoured each other in hungry. If 3-4 dogs mauled a weak dog, that was because they were aggressive. According to the law, each dog must receive min. 300 gr food daily. They get more food here, from slaughterhouses. 'Due to the lack of money, we struggle to get more food for dogs. We are very restricted. No laboratory, no echograph'. There are 65 dogs in paddock, the maximum capacity being 75 dogs. While a civilized solution fail to be taken since 20 years, the street dogs problem is always a subject in electoral campaigns. When the campaign is over, the subject will be forgotten for another 4 years.

The mayor wants tougher solutions, but such a law does not exist. Until a national strategy will be adopted, the mayor blames on the companies that keep many dogs in their yards and the citizens that abandon them from the surroundings. A candidate for mayor proposed the dogs to be sterilized, vaccined and put to adoption. But where to find so many animal lovers?