German MEP Martin Buschmann has sounded the alarm over the “mass killing of street dogs in Albania”.
In a Facebook post quoted by EWP, the MEP wrote that “in Albania, street dogs are being mass killed by the government” and said he would be filing a written request regarding Albania’s EU accession criteria.
He noted that as a candidate country, Albania must follow EU regulations on animal protection. His post continues by claiming that the Municipality of Tirana, headed by Mayor Erion Veliaj, has captured animals and has poisoned them instead of sterilising them.
“Their dead bodies are then disposed of at the municipal dump. We have to assume that thousands of street dogs have died this cruel way in recent years,” he wrote.
“How will the prospects of the start of the entry negotiations with Albania be influenced by the fact that Albania seems to be missing any minimum standards in animal protection and for the other the protests of the egg genes being ignored by citizens?”
Veliaj has refuted claims made by animal rights activists, stating the animals are sterilised and released. He has failed to respond to questions from journalists on the matter. Nonetheless, significant amounts of video and photographic evidence collected by journalists and activists show municipal employees rounding up dogs, conditions in the state veterinary clinic, and decomposing carcasses at the city dump.