From: Alice Taylor
MEP Condemns Albania for Killing Street Dogs en Masse

A German Member of European Parliament has questioned how Albania’s EU accession is progressing while street dogs are being rounded up and poisoned throughout the country, including in Tirana.

Martin Buschmann, a member of the Animal Protection Party, representing Germany in the EP has sounded the alarm over the “mass killing of street dogs in Albania.”

“Stop Killing Our Best Friends” Citizens Protest Against Poisoning of Stray Dogs by Tirana Municipality

In a Facebook post, the MEP writes that “in Albania, street dogs are being mass killed by the government”. As such, he announced he will be filing a written request regarding Albania’s EU accession and meeting criteria.

He notes that as a candidate, Albania must follow EU regulations on animal protection. His post continues by detailing that the Municipality of Tirana, headed by Erion Veliaj, has captured animals and instead of sterilizing them, has poisoned them.

Animal Rights Groups Suspect Municipal Involvement in Poisoning of Tirana’s Street Dogs

“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.

The MEP noted that these crimes have been evidenced by video footage, photos, testimony, and investigations, adding that petitions and protests have taken place over the issue.

“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?”

Buschmann also noted that there are legitimate questions over whether Albania has met the criteria for joining the EU.

Deadly Weekend for Tirana Street Dogs as Multiple Deaths Reported From Poisoned Bait

“The country continues to struggle with an exhausting reform process. In particular, the EU demands to ensure the functioning of the Constitutional Court, the leading efforts of the judicial reform, combating organized crime and corruption, modernization of public administration and maintaining the human rights,”  he wrote.

Exit has conducted several interviews into the mass killing of Albanian street dogs. Potentially thousands of dogs are rounded up every year, taken to the state veterinary clinic in Kombinat, and then killed via injection. Many more are killed with poisoned food around the city.