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Romanian lawmakers take control over shepherds' dogs

Romanian lawmakers take control over shepherds' dogs
Bucharest, December 9, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Irina Stoica

A recent law voted by MPs was met with anger, ironical comments and threats of protests in Romania. The lawmakers decided on how many dogs shepherds are allowed to keep! In an unprecedented move that's raising eyebrows, it's been established that a shepherd can have just one dog in the plains and two in the hilly regions.

Flocks in the mountains can be herded by no more than three dogs. Those who violate this law can be fined up to 300 euros. This law was passed following complaints by hunters who claim that sheepdogs kill their precious hare and deer trophies. Ranchers, however, say they cannot herd flocks of hundreds of sheep with only three dogs and their animals risk being eaten alive by wolves or bears.

"We just can't imagine what mind could come up with this bright idea to curtail our rights. The amendment was brought without even informing us about it. All animal breeders in this country keep a certain number of dogs, depending on their location and needs. Nobody has more dogs than necessary, because we have to feed and look after those dogs. We can't abuse or neglect them because they guard our property. I can't possibly imagine what criteria they had in mind when they introduced this law”, Marcel Andrei said, a representative of a National Livestock Producers Association. Sheep breeders threaten street protests on December the 15th.

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