Romania: court rules dogs can be euthanized

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s constitutional court has ruled that a bill on euthanizing stray dogs is legal, weeks after a 4-year-old boy’s fatal mauling in Bucharest prompted the government to draft legislation allowing the killing of strays.

Hundreds of dog lovers blocked a main road after Tuesday’s court ruling in protest. The bill needs to be signed by the president before it can become law.

Parliament voted on Sept. 10 to allow strays to be euthanized. They will be taken to shelters and, if not adopted or claimed within 14 days, killed.

Bucharest City Hall says there are 64,000 stray dogs in the capital, while animal rights groups say there are 40,000. A hospital that handles infectious diseases has treated 9,760 people for dog bites in the first eight months of the year.

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