17 November 2008 | 11:53 | FOCUS News Agency
Bucharest. Though EU standards provide for Christmas pigs to be stunned before slaughter, Romanians intend to stick to traditions this Christmas too, the Romanian Gardianul informs in its electronic edition.
This situation, which is mainly due to the lack of interest on behalf of the Romanian national veterinary service and the animal protection service, would cost expensive to Romania in 2009 when the EU would reduce the financing, says Liviu Harbuz, the chairman of the union of veterinaries in Romania.
Romanian representatives had discussions with European Commission officials as early as in December 2007 so that they could be given and extension of the deadline for sticking to the new standards, so that people could slaughter animals before Christmas and Easter without stunning them, which to be in force for the next three years. At that time the Commission accepted to consider this under the condition that Romania develops a program to teach the population in the European standards related to humane treatment of animals. The national veterinary service failed to develop such an information program, which means that the deadline would not be extended.
Last year residents of villages around Romania were threatened with fines of over 2000 Romanians leis if they slaughter a pig without stunning it beforehand, as the warning was cancelled in the spring.
EU law stipulates that animals must be killed in a way which avoids unnecessary suffering.