EU powerless to halt 'dog spinning' in Bulgaria
29th Jul 2005
'Barbaric practice must be stopped immediately' - Euro-MP
THE EU is powerless to prevent the 'barbaric' Bulgarian tradition of 'dog-spinning', the European Commission has admitted.
Dog-spinning - in which dogs are suspended over water and spun repeatedly before being released to spin wildly in the other direction, disoriented and terrified - is still practiced to forecast prosperity is some remote Bulgarian villages.
"Dog-spinning is a barbaric practice and must not be allowed to continue into the 21st century," said Caroline Lucas, a UK Green Party MEP who has called on the EU to stamp out dog spinning during negotiations over Bulgaria's forthcoming accession to the union.
Dr Lucas, who is vice-president of the RSPCA and the European Parliament's cross-party Animal Welfare Intergroup, said: "Dog-spinning is such a clear violation of animal welfare regulations that it must be comprehensively dealt with as part of Bulgaria's entry negotiations with the EU.
"The European Commission must impose an immediate end to the practice."
A spokesperson for European Health and consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou told Dr Lucas he shared her concerns on animal welfare in Bulgaria and would raise the issue's with the Bulgarian government.
But he said ultimately the EU was powerless to intervene in the practice, as EU legislation for the protection of animals is principally concerned with animals on farms, slaughter of livestock, transport and laboratory animals.
"The EU's competence to legislate... on cruelty towards dogs...is limited as this area remains under the sole responsibility of member states," said the Commission.
Stop laughing. This is serious. But how do we impose sanctions on Bulgaria?