Please HELP prevent the European Union from implementing the mass killings of stray animals and the union-wide installation of killing shelters by signing this petition!
The problem: The growing numbers of abandoned and free-roaming pets (especially dogs and cats) have become a problem in some European states. More and more we are confronted with horrific news about and pictures of animals that have been poisoned or otherwise killed and animals who have been subjected to terrible abuse. Animal welfare activists have been trying for many years to improve the situation for strays and have made great personal and financial efforts to do so. Within the affected countries the legal protection of pets is either missing, completely inadequate or rarely implemented. In recent times throughout the world and in some European countries strays have been held responsible for the spread of rabies and other diseases. In some countries mass killings of roaming dogs and cats have already been undertaken under this pretence. The legislators In May 2008 the European Union published the “European Parliament resolution of 22 May 2008 on a new animal health strategy for the European Union 2007-2013 (2007/2260(INI)).
Beside other aspects this strategy provides for a strong dependency on the “Draft guidelines on stray dog population control” of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) formulated by the Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission (Report October 2008). All member states of the EU are members of the OIE as well. The solution of the stray dog problem in accordance with the OIE The draft guidelines of the OIE have already accepted methods used by various non-European countries. The guidelines of OIE are strongly targeted on economic aspects. They define clearly the methods required for implementation of containment of rabies connected with the stray problem. The OIE, whose leading commissioners come from countries having problems with strays, naturally support the immediate elimination of the problem. The fastest solution for solving the stray problem according to the OIE guidelines is euthanasia of the animals. The “humane” methods accepted by the OIE for eliminating stray populations range from the insertion of a captive bolt into the head followed by pithing prior to exsanguination – to death in gas chambers or electrocution.
According to the OIE the responsibility for the decision about the fate of strays living in a certain region is carried by the local authorities alone. Veterinarians and animal welfare organisations are degraded to ‘gophers’ of the local authorities and their politicians. The consequences for Europe This appalling document of the OIE means not only a sentence of death for stray dogs world-wide, it is also approved by the majority of the EU representatives according to the result of their voting on the “European Parliament resolution of 22 May 2008 on a new animal health strategy for the European Union 2007-2013 (2007/2260(INI))”. However, no such bill has yet been passed. But, because the EU is planning to apply for OIE membership and because all member states of the EU are members of the OIE as well, there exists the great danger that in Europe killing shelters and mass killings of stray animals will be established by law. Such killings will not be performed only in times of acute rabies in some regions. They can be conducted as well in cases where human beings feel bothered or harassed by faeces and noise, or when the animals are feared to be the cause of obstruction of traffic. A dog may be killed if it is said it was dangerous or if a town or a municipality has insufficient financial resources for vaccination or castration or to keep animals in a shelter for a longer period of time. We all know, what can happen if local authorities are the decision makers (see e.g. Serbia, Turkey, China, etc.)! There, even mass killings are accepted as a legal method of epidemic control. Instead of stopping the mass production of pets, the uncontrolled breeding and the mass import of kittens and puppies, the OIE allows such “breeders” to continue their business with impunity. The OIE wishes only that dog breeders and dealers should be encouraged to form or join an appropriate association. Euthanasia of our companion animals becomes a solution for a human-made problem that people are not willing to solve. To eliminate the stray problem people need to develop compassion or responsibility. In fact people will be encouraged to act irresponsibly if the right to kill pets is handed to them. The right to practise euthanasia in order to eliminate a self-created problem makes things easy for politicians and obviates the necessity of teaching their citizens to treat animals with respect. The high standards of animal welfare in Europe and the decades of efforts to produce better animal welfare of many persons will go for nothing. The brutalisation of humans towards their companion animals will be another consequence. Some countries, where today an effective animal welfare exists, will have to get used to the legalised and arbitrary killing of their pets by local authority diktat. In the same manner animals will be increasingly treated as disposable by irresponsible people. Our claims With regard to animals that have been maltreated, abused and abandoned, we do have to protest against legislation that legalises the killing of pets and stray animals. This petition aims to prevent such legislation from coming into effect and make sure that the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals (Strasbourg, 13.XI.1987) will be improved.
This petition supports legislation that protects stray animals in Europe and does not hand them over to be killed by local authorities. Our thanks go to all who sign this petition and fight to help the strays in Europe. Because European Parliament will decide about animal welfare in Europe in May 2009 the petition will be closed latest April 30th 2009! Documentary reference: Written declaration on the welfare of pets and stray animals pursuant to Rule 116 of the Rules of Procedure by Alain Hutchinson, David Hammerstein and Neil Parish on the welfare of pets and stray animals European Parliament resolution of 22 May 2008 on a new animal health strategy for the European Union 2007-2013 (2007/2260(INI))
http://www.gopetition.com/online/25523.html ( German version)