Throughout our recent history, we have come to understand that social inequality, racism, sexism, imperialism, autocracy, colonialism and extreme ideologies of communism and Nazism are distorted and devious systemic patterns of thinking and cultural organization that often result in the creation of institutionalized forms of violence. The forms of institutional violence may not be apparent, they are often subtle and elusive though they perpetrate physical and psychological suffering. Poverty, inequality and social exclusion are indicators of institutional violence, and so is the mass slaughter of non-human sentient beings.
The institutionalization and commercialization of mass killings of other sentient beings for whatever reasons, the contempt for their suffering, the systemic ignorance of, and indifference to the corrupt process, bring unavoidable parallels from the darkest past.
Institutional, non-intentional violence is systemic in nature because it involves systemic state institutions believed to be democratic. Therefore, institutional violence is believed to be perfectly legitimate. From the legal point of view, institutional violence resulting in the deaths and suffering of tens of thousands of sentient beings is not legally perceived as criminal or illegitimate. The non-intentionality of state-legalized institutional violence obscures the question of responsibility and accountability. The Romanian moral, religious, legal, constitutional and governmental authorities gave their consent to the slaughter, creating a semblance of legality.
The representatives of the authoritative corporate bodies, governmental officials, priests, constitutionalists, judges and prosecutors, the whole lot of them are just people like us. They love their families, keep their pets, take care of their children and careers, have their ideals. Like us, they are friendly, caring, loyal, devoted, IGNORANT and INDIFFERENT... so were the chiefs of Nazi extermination camps. Systemic violence can be perfectly consistent with the system's high ideals of democracy, human rights, justice and morality.
Not even three years later, Prime Minister Ponta signs the law for the mass-killing of stray dogs passed by Government Emergency Ordinance OUG 155/2001 amended by Law 258/2013, sentencing all of Romania's homeless dogs to death after a 14-days-pre-slaughter period spent in one of Romania's death camps, if not claimed, adopted, or perished before.
The Romanian Animal and Human Rights Crisis
The 4th of September, 2013 - triggered by the tragic death of the young child, Ionut Anghel, whose lifeless body was found two days before on a private property in Bucharest at almost one kilometer away from the park where their grandmother had left him and his older brother unattended for more than one hour - marked the beginning of a very dark time for all of Romania's homeless dogs. Almost immediately and capitalizing on the publicity that accompanied the case, it was announced that the death had been caused by stray dogs. No one waited until the final investigations were over to determine how the death of the young boy was caused. On 10th of September, 2013, the Romanian Parliament with persuasion by President Basescu, adopted a new law that would sentence all of Romania's homeless dogs to death after 14 working days spent in one of their death camps, if not claimed, adopted, or perished before. Within one week of this tragic event, the Chamber of Deputies adopted a law on stray dogs by 266 votes in favor, 23 votes against and 20 abstentions, despite the fact that the bill’s initiator had not agreed to include euthanasia as a procedure. 
On 16th of September, 2013, a group of 30 Parliament members from several political parties filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court against the draft law that stipulated euthanasia of captured dogs after 14 working days.
On 25th of September, 2013 Constitutional Court judge Petre Lăzăroiu, suggested that "the mass killing of stray dogs could traumatize the population"... then the entire place ruled to cull all dogs. And that the eradication of Romania's homeless animals - although it had been ruled unconstitutional in January 2012 - was now 'constitutional'.
Although initially blamed on strays, the boy's death was later found to have been caused by seven guard dogs owned by a private company.
InMay 2015, the court ordered that a € 2.4 million compensation was to be paid to Ionut’s family. The judges also sentenced Constantin Ciorascu to three years in prison with suspension. He is the owner of the company that managed the greenfield where the incident occurred.  The ruling was not final and had been challenged.
Despite this, supporters of the draconian law have continued to justify the killings, often using the tragic case of the boy to bolster their argument.
On 18th of March, 2016 the entire investigation took a new turn when lawyers submitted a new expert report according to which the child's death seems to have been caused by dogs trained for dog fighting, whereas the rather superficial bites were caused by the "strays". According to an article published by 'Romania TV', the expert claims that the bites on Ionut body are specific to fighting dogs. In addition, and in support of this theory, the vet said that this was why Ionut's brother (who was found by a passerby on the sidewalk almost 1 km away from the park) had not been attacked by the dogs. A "stray dog" (or guard dog) would attack anyone they perceive as "enemy", while dogs trained for fighting would not be chasing a different prey once they found a victim.  This theory coincides with the fact that several witnesses confirmed that illegal dog fights would be organized in this area.
On 12th of May, 2016 Constantin Ciorăscu - the owner of the private property where Ionut Anghel was found dead - has been sentenced to three years of imprisonment and payment of 2,4 mio EURO compensation to be paid to Ionut's family. The decision of the Court of Appeal Bucharest is final. 
The wording of Romanian legislation is comparable to legislation in a number of other countries, but, in our view, it would not be appropriate to defend an inhumane policy disguised by way of a purely “cosmetic” piece of legislation. Romania has decided to implement dog population control by way of removing hundreds of thousands of dogs, and whereas financing, facilities and new homes are not, in practice, available to accommodate the high number of dogs, the essential content of the policy is indeed “Catch & Kill”. An extermination policy, such as the one currently in practice in Romania, is not an appropriate response to stray dogs anywhere in the world, let alone Europe. The massive culling of dogs lacks compassion and defies values and respect for life we would normally expect from EU-members.
The entire law is based on a knee jerk reaction without any scientific evidence, and since its introduction till to date (August 2015) about 350.000 innocent dogs have paid for it with their life, and thousands more have died in Romania's public shelters of what is considered to "die of natural causes".
Romania's “Catch & Kill" policy as currently in practice, will not work because it is aimed at the wrong target. Law' 258/2013 - which stands for good money to be made various companies involved in the rounding up, the supposed maintenance, the killing and the disposal of the animals killed by violence or neglect - is both inhumane and ineffective, and demonstrates the Government's inability to manage the situation properly.
Scandalously, the Romanian Government throws away millions of EURO taxpayers' money on a discredited program that has failed everywhere in the world... a sum which could contribute significantly to a country with many profound needs.
Relating to others in terms of cultivating an emotive relation with other humans or animals is man's and animal's most basic psychological need
A human being has an inalienable and a natural right to relate emotively to other living beings, be it humans or animals and as, universally, this relationship constitutes the foundation of man's sense of security and well-being, as well as the sense of his identity and as the character of this affective relationship is the same regardless of whether this relationship exists between humans or humans and animals, and any one who perpetrates the violence-related trauma resulting from the suppression of this natural right should be held accountable as the violation of this right causes psychosomatic suffering equivalent to the violation of personal rights and freedoms.
Not long ago, child abuse was endemic because of child's alleged inferiority to adults. Not long ago, slavery was no to be challenged and it constituted one of the most infamous foundations of the world's economy. We are still enslaving humans who stand up in the defence of animal rights because we restrict their freedoms and do not protect them from violence.
In fact, the corrupt Romanian government executing the policy of animal mass extermination targets millions of sensitive people who are being socially marginalized and who are deprived of any legal or constitutional protection. The deviant, murderous and criminal policy advocated by the state bureaucrats makes one believe that those who oppose violence are acting against the law and it is them who deserve condemnation.
A new chance for Romania's dogs?
On 5th of May, 2015, Remus Cernea (an independent Member of the Romanian Parliament) submitted a new Draft Law for the management of stray dogs to the Commission for Public Administration at the Chamber of Deputies.
Remus Cernea later stated (among others):
"I tried to argue that the current law generates only a significant spending of public funds without solving the problem. I told my colleagues that this huge suffering of the stray dogs is useless and against the moral values of a civilized society. I quoted the World Health Organization which stated in 1990 that the mass killing of the stray dogs is inefficient and that there are other ways to solve this problem in a civilized manner. I have to thank to Mr. Claudiu Dumitriu who I invited to this debate in order to defend the draft law and who had a very good speech in favor of it! During the discussions which were quite long (about one hour) a few members of the Commission said that they have understood that this draft law is a complex and an important one and that it deserves more attention and deeper debates. One of them made the proposal to postpone a decision of the Commission in favor or against the draft law. They wanted to give it a chance for a larger debate together with local authorities and experts. The proposal was accepted! So the Commission will postpone the decision for one month. During this time the Commission will try to find and understand the points of views of those who are involved and interested in this issue. The good thing is that we can talk about this in the parliament without being influenced by a recent emotional event and I hope that the debate will be more rational than it was in September 2013."
This website aims to support this new Draft Law. It provides information on both the deficiencies of the current legislation, and the advantages of the new Law proposal.
"Pleading eyes", by Veera Nuri
Table of content
History of Romanian stray dogs, and the Romanian mentality
Stray animals situation in Romania - the current situation
Understanding "stray dogs", their origin and behavior
Regrettable incidents and the role of a propagandist, sensational media
Deficiencies and lacuna of the current legislation
Non-compliance with international guidelines
Inefficiency of the current legislation
Reported dog bites
Comparative costs of the current 'catch & kill' policy, versus a national C-N-R program
Benefits of a Capture-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return Program
Social and emotional impact of the current legislation
The LINK between animal abuse and inter-human abuse
Human rights violations
Children rights violations
Advantages of the proposed draft law
Education on responsible animal ownership
Investing in future generations by implementing a humane education program in schools