Romania: Inspection of Calugareni Animal Market

In the rural areas of Romania, the predominant activity is growing vegetables and raising animals for self-subsistence. Local markets are the places where people gather to sell their products and, sadly, also animals. This has been happening in Calugareni for hundreds years.

The market is administrated by the municipality as it takes place on public ground. When live animals are traded, the mayor has to ask the veterinary authority of the county for authorization, which means that the market will have to follow EU standards and requirements for minimum protection of the animals transported to and from the gathering. In Calugareni, hundreds of animals are sold every Sunday but none of these standards are respected. That is why the veterinary authority has never authorized the market. It is a vicious circle that leads to lack of control. For Animals’ Angels it is very hard to help and to do something. The authorities do not intend to close the market with force. The only thing that remains to do is at least to reduce the suffering of the animals handled very roughly, as if they were objects, and try to bring a different point of view to the people who do not think of them as sentient beings.

Today is Sunday, the last weekend before Christmas and there is a vast amount of animals displayed in vehicles and pens and cages. There are mostly pigs as this is the time of the year when they are killed with a knife. Numerous policemen and gendarmes and eight official veterinarians of the county are present for the usual checks into illegal meat trade. This time, after meetings and correspondence between Animals´ Angels and the competent authorities, they are present also in the animal sector of the market to impede the illegal slaughter of pigs for Christmas. Sadly, and explanatory to how deep-rooted this tradition is, at the end of the morning, some sows are killed barbarically despite the presence of the officials. The veterinary officers issued sanctions to the killers. We light some candles at the entrance of the market in their memory.

Animals´ Angels will continue to stand for the animals in Calugareni, even if the environment is not yet open to change. We will continue the cooperation with the authorities to enforce the minimum protection in the view to prepare the community to consider animals as sentient beings