In Moldova, animal protection is probably the last issue on the government’s agenda

Earlier this year, public opinion was shocked after almost every media outlet in Moldova carried the news about a man who allegedly killed his horse by repeated beatings. Some environmental inspectors accidentally have found the poor creature beaten and bleeding at the edge of a forest. When they called on the owner, he told them ‘it’s my animal and I do what I like with it’. His neighbors also told the authorities that he used to beat him constantly with heavy objects. If he is found guilty, he will get a very light sentence – a fine of only 800 Lei, which is about 40 Euro or 60 hours of unpaid community work.

You may ask yourself if the Moldovan media wrote about the subject. I asked myself as well, but except for some sensational news aka ‘click here’ and horrible pictures of the poor animal I found nothing. If this were to happen in any European country, the person could easily have been sent to jail. Not in Moldova. In Ireland and the UK, for example, ‘a man received lifetime ban from keeping animals after a pig was “eaten alive” by dogs’ . Or, ‘a man from Donegal was banned from keeping dogs after carcasses of three dogs were found on his property’.

In Moldova, there are some organizations that fight for animal protection, but the people who run them aren’t vegans or vegetarians in particular. I met Alex Mazov, an activist who is a vegan and moreover, a doctor.

Alex Mazov is a vegan who fights for animals rights in Moldova. Photo: personal archive

Alex became a vegan three years ago, after his grandma died of cancer. To be more precise, he is a raw vegan. All his family is vegan, he states. ‘When we talk about animal protection in Moldova, we are talking about a difficult situation. We still do not have any laws for animal’s protection. Every year, thousands of homeless animals are on the street and half of them are poisoned and hunted’, says Alex.

As if things weren’t bad enough, we have a Dolphinarium in Chisinau, the capital. Alex said that the sad day it opened (in May 2016), two parallel activities took place, each of which was a massive protest against this place. Alex was among the participants. They also started a campaign to collect signatures for a petition to close the Dolphinarium. ‘We must enforce the law and work on punishing cruelty to animals. Then we can continue to fight and close the Dolphinarium’.

A poster for the campaign ‘We say NO for a Dolphinarium in Moldova’, a protest run by Alex and his friends. Photo: Alex Mazon archieve

Unfortunately, no real changes have happened since. Animal protection is probably the last issue on the government’s agenda, thinks Alex.

‘At the moment the government has received our petition and has passed it to the Environment ministry and the minister has promised to indicate its wish that Parliament adopt the law. But he didn’t’, says Alex. He is disappointed in what’s going on at the moment and wants to start his own NGO. ‘I am collaborating with Otwarte Klatki (a vegan NGO in Poland) and F.R.E.E. (a similar NGO in Romania)’.

Alex thinks we have to make our voice hearded, so we need real activism and action have to be taken.