about us | newsletter | contact | archive | members area
Bogdan Badea, Hidroelectrica
There is a need for urgent cost optimization»
  Features:      COUNTRY FOCUS   |   SECTOR ANALYSIS   |

Putting the leash on Bucharest's shadow city of dogs

No subject divides the people of Bucharest more than the choice of whether to feed the city’s stray dogs or poison them

December 2010 - From the Print Edition

Mothers and sons, colleagues and school-friends and husbands and wives disagree on the fate of these four-legged beggars, in a debate which splits homes, blocks and communities.
Estimates for the number of strays in the capital are between 15,000 and 50,000, while the true figure is unknown.
But even the authorities are not convinced whether massacre or toleration is the answer.
City Hall has murdered around 100,000 canines since 2001 in a vast ‘dogocide’ that failed to curb their numbers - because dogs breed at a faster rate that City Hall’s team of six dog catchers can seize and kill them.
But in the last two years the mayor’s office has switched its policy.
Now the authorities and animal rights groups have begun an extensive programme of capturing strays, sterilising them and dumping the canines back on the street. This needs widespread support from the public, city authorities, civil society and the private sphere to show a humane method of pooch population control can work.
‘The Diplomat - Bucharest’ magazine this month investigates the fate of stray dogs in Romania. Some end up castrated and neutered, others poisoned and thrown in a skip, some are adopted by Germans, Swiss or Americans, others are trained to attack, while one dog is assisting a child with Down’s Syndrome to speak.
On the whole stray dogs rarely terrorise people - they bark and snap and can bite, but are not trained to fight. However they do scare pedestrians, especially the old, children and tourists, restricting many from walking the streets at night, while packs of unsterilised hounds can be a public menace.
But the more dangerous hounds are often those people keep in their front yards.
From the poorest to the richest districts of the capital, it seems obligatory for householders to keep at least one vicious, hyperactive and sexually incontinent guard dog.
Some estimates put the owned dog population at 400,000 in the capital - clearly eclipsing the strays by eight times. This is larger than any other urban population in Romania outside of Bucharest. Arguably the second largest metropolis in the country is the capital’s shadow city of nearly half a million dogs.
Even in a prestigious Bucharest district such as Cotroceni, almost every house has a guard dog - which means that in the summer months, where the temperature hits 40 degrees, this arboreal and attractive zone with winding streets and eclectic architecture is poisoned by the stench of canine urine and turd melting in the heat.
This is a vast under-licensed community which plagues public walking areas.
The canine presence is so ingrained in the Romanian consciousness that it has now built up its own mythology. Due to the Romanian fondness for conspiracy theories and delight in exaggeration, many legends - some possibly true - have emerged about dogs in Bucharest. Among these are that authorities kill dogs on the street, burn them and grind the bones into a protein flour, which they sell to Chinese drug merchants. Allegedly before the Bucharest NATO Summit in 2008, the city authorities rounded up 10,000s of dogs on the streets of Bucharest and secretly slaughtered them in one night, so the hounds would not bite the ankles of George W Bush or Angela Merkel, as they disembarked from their limousines.
Now - supposedly - Italian leather companies are buying up Romanian stray dog skin and passing it off as cow. There is also a story that during the Ceausescu period, the state-owned clothing companies used to make winter accessories out of dog fur, claiming this was mink.
One dog catcher told this magazine that sometimes, when he turns up outside a block, picks up a street dog and shuts him in a van, the people in the street shout: “Take him away and bring him back as gloves!”

Michael Bird



COMMENTS
There are 0 comments:

 
ADD A COMMENT
 
Name
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 

0 Comments  |  12901 Views
Daily Info
EIB offers Romania 13 billion Euro financing in 25 years

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Romania 13 billion Euro worth of loans since starting its operations in the country, in 1992, according to a report of the insti...

Germanos stores in Romania rebrand into Telekom

Telekom Romania, the second-biggest telecom group on the local market, has started the rebranding process of the Germanos shops into Telekom.

OMV Petrom doubled its profit last year

OMV Petrom had a 2.49 billion RON profit in 2017, more than double than it had recorded in 2016 (1.04 billion RON), according to a report by the company.

Complet Electro Serv appoints Cristian Laza as new CEO

Complet Electro Serv, part of Altex Romania, has appointed Cristian Laza as CEO of Complet Electro Serv, producer and distributor of electric-IT equipments.

Mol Group posts highest profit in a decade in 2017

Mol Group announced its financial results for 2017. Mol increased its EBITDA by 14 per cent outperforming its 2017 target on the back of a strong financial and operational del...

 
 
   
advertising

advertising

advertising

advertising

More on Features
Romanian business: There is still room for improvement

Romania is still an attractive market for investors within South-eastern Europe, with advantages in terms of labour cost and skilled professionals. But local entrepreneurs ...

1 Comment

Digital Banking: Challenges and opportunities

Digitalization is radically transforming the banking industry, enabling new products, services and business models. This transformation will take time to complete, forcing ...

2 Comments

Logistics industry: Growing demand

The industrial, logistics and office sectors in Bucharest were the drivers of the real estate development market in the first nine months of the year.

Telecom industry: Keeping pace with next-gen tech

The telecom industry is transforming before our very eyes. And in many instances, there are no hard-set rules for the new digital platforms, tools and lifecycles in which t...

2 Comments

Digital transformation of energy management and automation

Interview with Marius Persinaru, Country President Schneider Electric Romania & Republic of Moldavia

6 Comments

Principles Governing Foreign Investments in Romania

The legal regime of foreign investments in Romania is governed by the principle of equal treatment, which means that, subject to the principle of most-favoured-nation treat...

German investments in Romania: Companies are worried about fiscal measures and infrastructure

Romania still offers good business opportunities, but in order to continue foreign investments and job creation, companies need a stable economic environment, legal stabili...