The English weather was at its best yesterday when protesters met at Kensington gardens in readiness for the protest. The heavens literally opened and then for a few minutes brilliant sunshine, reopened and again sunshine.
The only thing that was constant was the determination of the protesters to get themselves seen and heard for the sake of the Romanian animals. The protesters were a mixed variety from humans to four legged rescued Romanian Doggies.
We started off at approx 1pm, and walked a short distance to where the private road of Embassies was. Not all of our group was allowed to go up there, but a few of us were allowed,and 2 were allowed to take in all the petitions to submit to the Romanian Government.
It was a surprise to be told by the UK security person who would be accompanying us that infact we would not just be handing in petitions, but the Ambassador himself Dr Ion Jinga had given permission for us to hand them personally to him, also to sit and chat with him.
The Ambassador was polite and welcoming, and under our grilling time and again stated that he had no influence over politics in Romania and could only pass on our concerns etc to the relevant persons. Basally the ambassador was being...well, an ambassador.
We spoke about the vote to euthanise all strays as in the mistreatment of strays, ie: Botosani massacre and he explained that the Vet and the Mayor who are under investigation, if found guilty could be looking at a prison sentence between 6 month - 3 years. He was very quick to point out that he could not personally comment on the case itself as neither the vet nor the mayor had been found guilty yet and it was in the hands of the police etc.
I made the ambassador aware of the current situation in Botosani where the mayor was holding 5 dogs who had escaped the brutal massacre weeks before, and was refusing to allow the Ador group access to them, nor allow them to take them out of the shelter, even though the mayor himself had signed adoption papers over to them of the dogs. The ambassador did not seem aware of this situation, and asked for what reasons the vet was refusing the release of the dogs to Ador. I told him, he has no valid reasons to hold the dogs. Again,he was unable to pass comment,and again reiterated that all he could do was pass on the views and concerns to relevant parties which he assured us that he would.
Another protester who entered the embassy with me, brought up the situation with the Delta Danube horses, we were assured that the horses were guaranteed protection for 10 years, this had been agreed by the Romanian Government the day previously. However it is mine and others beliefs that this is simply not good enough. You can pass a bill to protect horses as much as you want, but if you are not implementing animal welfare laws etc. onto the Romanian Public, what is stopping these people from doing what they did before?
This led to the subject of though Romania has quite a decent animal welfare policy in place,that this simply is not being implemented and people are literally being encouraged (including the dog controllers) to commit animal abuse. The Ambassador was happy to discuss this, but did not want to speak in general terms, he would only be willing to comment on specific cases, which of course we know there are numerous cases everyday. As we were unprepared , as we had no idea we would be having this conversation directly with the ambassador we could only revert back to the Botosani Massacre and the Danube Delta horses, which of course we had already covered.
The Ambassador was very much for making us aware that yes there is animal abuse/cruelty in Romania as there is in all countries but this should not reflect upon the entirety that is Romania. He was very keen to state that if animal abuse or cruelty has been found to be committed that the persons guilty of these crimes will be dealt with by the police and the judicial system.
Time was getting on, and we then left the embassy, and continued through the busy streets of London towards the Romanian Consulate building, unfortunately the consulate would not allow us near or in the building, and so we protested across the road from it.
By now the weather was getting the best of us, we had all spent hours getting drenched,wind swept and thoroughly chilled. Leaflets were being distributed and lots of people were coming up to us asking about the Demo itself and the reason behind it. Needless to say not one person disagreed with our opinion,and them like us were disgusted at the treatment of animals in Romania.
For more photos of the UK Demonstration Please click here