Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

cat in Romania
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Cat in Romania – He/she looks relaxed
Should he be? Photo by oanababy

Contents — Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania


The Law

Introduction — Cat and animal welfare laws in Romania

Cat and animal welfare laws in Romania exist but are badly drafted and poorly enforced. Romania joined the EEC (European Economic Community) in 2007. Before that there is a history of communist dictatorship. The country’s history does not lend itself to good animal welfare laws. The EEC seems to be doing little to rectify the Romanian government’s woeful failure to enforce proper animal welfare laws including the out of control sport hunting of wildlife. The EEC is a slow moving ineffecient juggernaut.

The word “cat” is in the title for SEO reasons, by the way. I have reproduced the law as at Oct 2008 below. It is a translation. The translation is good but not perfect.  Laws change, please remember. Please always double check if you are relying on the law. The law is managed by the National Sanitary Veterinary Authority. This authority has it seems a history of failure to enforce the laws it supervises. It is clearly not doing the work it was set up to do.

Comments — Cat and animal welfare laws in Romania

Dr. Despina Fruth Oprisan a partner in what I understand to be a Belgium law firm makes some helpful comments about the law to which I add some of my own.

Here are some observations:

  • the law has been written but rather poorly – why couldn’t they adopt and adapt the relevant laws of Sweden for example? Animal welfare law is universal.
  • there is poor enforcement.
  • there is generally a poor approach and mentality towards by the people of Romania to animal welfare. This will take a long time to rectify.
  • there is a lack of knowledge; education is required.
  • the stray dog population is out of control at about 2m and they are inhumanely hunted (in the city apparently – this sounds appalling). Stray dogs are apparently treated brutally on occasions. Killing stray dogs doesn’t fix the problem and is not recommended in well publicized and recognized research papers. These are ignored by the Romanian government it seems. The problem starts and ends with human behavior.
  • the dog shelters are not shelters but dog pounds where the dogs are treated with great cruelty.
  • although the basis of animal welfare law is in place there are too many exceptions to the rules substantially weakening the law and making it ineffective.
  • the penalties for breach of the law are wholly inadequate.
  • there is a lack of secondary legislation.
  • there is a lack of resources and will to enforce the law
  • there is a lack of resources by farmers to comply with the law if they knew what it was.
  • there is a lack of practical experience in carrying out the terms of the legislation.
  • hunting seems to be big in Romania. The laws that allow hunting are generous and extensive and include the hunting of stray cats and dogs. Hunting is allowed in protected areas provided numbers are controlled (are they?)
  • the laws on the aquisition of animals for animal experiments is poorly drafted and there are loopholes.
  • local authorities, those that enforce the law, are inclined to ignore it and are therefore in breach of it themselves.
  • hunting of wild animals in Romania is encouraged it seems and western Europeans travel to Romania for cheap sport hunting. Wildlife is endangered as a result. For example, 500 small wildcats were sport hunted and killed in 2007 (Romania Ministry of Agriculture website). There may be and probably are breaches of CITES. 

The above are just examples. There are more. Disagree with this criticism? If you like you can make a comment in response here: Cat welfare in Romania.


Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

Law nr. 205/2004 (regarding animal protection) from May 26th 2004 concerning animals’ protection.

CHAPTER I – Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

General dispositions

Art. 1. – (1) The law provides the necessary measures for ensuring the conditions of life and welfare for animals with or without owner.

(2) Controlling of the stray dogs population from the territory of Romania is made by specific legislation.

Art. 2. – Owner of an animal means the owner, the person that have with any
available title, also the physical or juridical person that care the animal.

Art. 3. – Animal owners have the obligation to ensure the application of the sanitary veterinary and zoo hygiene laws concerning the sheltering, feeding, caring, reproduction, exploitation and those concerning animals protection and welfare.

Art. 4. – Animal owners have the obligation to behave non-violent, to provide the elementary conditions necessary to the breeding as well as to not abandon or to turn out the animals.

Art. 5. – (1) Animals owners have the obligation to provide for the animals,
considering their ethologic, specie, race, sex, age, production category, the following:
a) a proper shelter;
b) enough food and water;
c) enough space to move;
d) care and attention.

(2) For animal owners is forbidden to apply bad treatments such as: beat, torture or such other cruelties.

Art. 6. – (1) Bad treatments mean violent behaviour, abuzz in using animals,
maltreatment and taming the animals at useless effort as well as missing of
providing of minimal conditions for life and welfare.

(2) Animals maltreatment means:

a) to kill the animals from perversity and also through practicing precision firing on domestic or captive animals;
b) to organise fights between or with animals;
c) to use alive animals for training the dogs or for controlling dogs aggressively;
d) to use the animals for exhibitions, advertising, shooting or in similar aims, if
these activities provoke to the animals physical or psychical suffering,
diseases or wounds;
e) to abandon an animal of which existence depends on man’s care;
f) to use on animals substances that can stimulate physical capacities of the
animal during competitions, as doping.
Art. 7. – Animals use in scientific aims are under specific protection rules, without provoking them useless sufferance.

Art. 8. – (1) National Sanitary Veterinary and for Safety of the Aliments Authority* represents national authority concerning animal protection.

(2) Conditions of keeping, sheltering and care of the animals are settled through
order from the president of National Sanitary Veterinary and for Safety of the
Aliments Authority*) in conformity with art.6 from din Government Ordinance no. 42/2004, approved by Law no. 215/2004, National Sanitary Veterinary and for Safety of the Aliments Authority is settled through reorganizing of Romanian Agency for Aliments Safety, of National Sanitary Veterinary Agency from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural development, and also of some structure from the same Ministry.

CHAPTER II – Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

Conditions concerning animals keeping

Art. 9. – (1) Animal owner can keep wild animals, in conformity with the law, only if they are authorized by the district sanitary veterinary agency and for safety of the aliments, respectively of the agency of Bucharest.

(2) Conditions for keeping the wild animals are settled by order from the Minister of Agriculture at the proposal of National Sanitary Veterinary and for Safety of the Aliments Authority.

Art. 10. – (1) Animals keepers have the obligation to care and to adequately treat a sick or hurt animal.

(2) National Veterinary Authority can order the killing of an animal sick or hurt for sparing it of physical or psychical sufferance, in conditions settled by the president of National Veterinary and for Safety of the Aliments Authority.
(3) The foresights from 1) and 2) are not applied for the animals used in scientific aims or in other experimental aims.

Art. 11. – Animal owners that are selecting an animal for reproduction have the
obligation to respect the characteristics of anatomy, physiology and behaviour of the specie, thus the performances, the health and the welfare of the descendants should be not compromised.

Art. 12. – The persons that contribute at the training of an animal have the obligation to use training methods that are not provoking physical or psychical traumas, as well as to use methods that cannot put in danger the health or the welfare of the animal.

CHAPTER III – Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

Conditions concerning animals trade, animals transport as well as using the animals in advertising aims, shows, competitions and similar events

Art. 13. – National Sanitary Veterinary and for Safety of the Aliments Authority, from consideration concerning animal protection and conservation of the species from the Romanian territory, can impose specific conditions as well as limit or forbid the import, export, transit and trade of the animals, considering community settlements.

Art. 14. – (1) The transporters have the obligation to transport the animals in
adequate conditions considering the specie, sex, age, reproduction category, to
avoid to harm or to exhaust the animals.

(2) Conditions related to animals’ transportation are settled through the order of the president of National Sanitary Veterinary and for Safety of the Aliments Authority.

Art. 15. – Animals can be used in publicity, shows, exhibitions, competitions or other similar events only if:

a) the organizer provides the conditions mentioned at the article 5;
b) the health and the welfare of the animals are not put in danger.
Art. 16. – During the competitions or with other occasions is forbidden to administrate substances to the animals or to force the animals at the procedures that can increase or diminish the natural level of the performances.

CHAPTER IV – Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

Surgical interventions

Art. 17. – (1) Animals are subjected to surgical interventions only in motivated cases.

(2) Surgical interventions can be made under local or general anaesthesia, only by the veterinarians.

(3) Medical interventions that can provoke sufferance to the animals can be made by the veterinarian.

Art. 18. – Through exception from the disposition of the art. 17 alin. (2), in case of the animals used in scientific research or in other experimental aims, surgical
interventions or other treatments can be made by other qualified person.

CHAPTER V – Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

Sacrificing and killing of the animals

Art. 19. – The animals will not be subjected to the useless suffering in case of
sacrificing or killing.

Art. 20. – Animals’ sacrificing will be made in accordance with the laws.

Art. 21. – The dispositions of the article 20 are not applied for the animals that,
because of the accidents or illnesses have to be immediately sacrificed of killed.

CHAPTER VI – Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

Using the animals in scientific aims or in other experimental aims
Art. 22. – Animals can be used for scientific research, diagnosing of an illness,
producing of the medicines or other biological products, as well as in similar aims, when the purpose of the activity cannot be reached through other methods that don’t supposed using of the animals.

CHAPTER VII – Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania


Art. 23. – (1) There are considered contraventions the following facts:
a) inobservance of the dispositions of the art. 12;
b) inobservance of the dispositions of the art. 5 alin. (1);
c) maltreating an animal;
d) inobservance of the dispositions of the art. 26 alin. (3);
e) cruelties against animals.

(2) The contraventions settled at alin. (1) are sanctioned as follow:
a) those from w. a), with penalty from 2.000.000 (50€) ROL to 4.000.000 (100€) ROL;
b) those from w. b) and c), with penalty from 3.000.000 (75€) ROL to 6.000.000
(150€) ROL;
c) those from w. d), with penalty from 6.000.000 (75€) ROL to 10.000.000 (250€) ROL;
d) those from w. e), with penalty from 10.000.000 (250€) ROL to 20.000.000 (500€) ROL.

Art. 24. – In case of committing by the owner of the animals for three times in two year of the acts described in art. 23 alin. (1) lit. c) and e), next to the conventional penalty , the animals are confiscated. The animals will be accommodated in shelters of the local council.

Art. 25. – (1) Finding of the contraventions and applying of the sanctions are made by authorized persons from National Sanitary Veterinary and for Safety of the Aliments Authority and from Ministry of Administration and Internal Affaires.

(2) The offender
can pay offhand, or in 48 hours from the date of the signing of the official report a half
from the minimum of the penalty mentioned at the art. 23 alin. (2).
3) The dispositions of the Government Ordinance no 2/2001 concerning the juridical regime of contraventions, approved by the Law no.180/2002, are applicable for the contraventions mentioned at the art. 23.

CHAPTER VIII – Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania

Final dispositions

Art. 26. – (1) National Sanitary Veterinary and for Safety of the Aliments Authority and Ministry of Administration and Internal Affaires supervise the application of the present law.

(2) For application of the dispositions of the present law, the authorized persons have access in buildings, shelters and other places where the animals are accommodated, as well as, the right to ask for any information and necessary documents for controlling and to take proves for researches and lab analyses.
(3) In case when the animals are accommodated at the residence of the owners, the access of the persons mentioned in alin. (2) in this space is made with the permission of the owner. In care of missing of permission, the animal owner is obligated to make the prove of respecting the dispositions from art. 5.

Art. 27. – Orders from art. 8 alin. (2), art. 9 alin. (2), art. 10 alin. (2) and art. 14 alin.
(2) are issued in time of 6 month from the publication date of the present law in
Official Monitory of Romania, Part I.
Art. 28. – Present law will be available in 10 days after publishing in Official Monitory of Romania, Part I (starting with 25th of June 2004).
Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania –  Translated in VIER PFOTEN’s Romania office

Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Romania to Cats and the Law

Photo: published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License

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