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KSPA's Statement Regarding the Environment Minister's Appeal to City Mayors

Kyiv Society for the Protection of Animals (KSPA) makes the following statement
regarding the call (see the text after Kyiv Post / Associated Press below) of Environment minister M.Zlochevsky to the mayors of ukrainian cities on November 17, 2011.

The Law for the Protection of Animals is in force in Ukraine since 2006. It prohibits killing the animals by inhumane methods such as "painful injections, poisoning, overheating". Ukrainian municipalities nevertheless widely apply all these illegal methods for last years, see our video reports about mass poisoning, injections and mobile crematoriums.

In this regard, the call of Environment minister M.Zlochevsky is significantly less binding for the mayors than the Law currently in force. It gives them no new reasons to start observing that Law.

Moreover, all the uncertainties noticed by Associated Press themself make no impression there is any real roadmap besides the appeal. Experience sais, promised legal and other changes can be dragged out for years.

KSPA therefore in no way shares the opinion that "this is a fantastic victory for Ukraine, its citizens and its animals".
The Society has over 12 years experiense of dealing with ukrainian authorities and, based on that, continues to accredit their achievements only by their deeds, rather than by just their words.

O.Kosenkov Oleksiy Kosenkov
Head of the Union for the Development of Animal Protection
Representative of the Kyiv Society for the Protection of Animals in Switzerland

Ukraine calls for end to killing of stray dogs (updated)

Kyiv Post Succumbing to pressure from Western civic groups, the Ukrainian government on Thursday called for an end to the brutal killing of stray dogs ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championship next summer.

Ukraine's Environment Ministry said Thursday it has urged all the country's mayors to stop euthanizing dogs ahead of the June event and build animal shelters instead.

Thousands of stray dogs have been killed in Ukraine over the past year, often poisoned or injected with illegal substances in an apparent effort to clean city streets of strays ahead of the prestigious sports event, according to Associated Press research.

That has caused outrage from local and international animal protection groups.

"Today I am publicly turning to all city mayors: let us stop the deaths of those poor stray animals for half a year and build shelters together," Environment Minister Mykola Zlochevsky told a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, according to his press service.

The ministry's statement followed a meeting with representatives of Naturewatch, a British-based group that is actively campaigning against animal cruelty in Ukraine.

"This is a fantastic victory for Ukraine, its citizens and its animals," said John Ruane, head of Naturewatch.

However, it remained unclear how the killing ban would be enforced. Ukraine has a large stray dog population, often numbering tens of thousands in big cities, and building shelters to house them would take months.

Ministry spokesman Serhiy Syrovatka told the AP that the government would work on adopting legal and other changes to make the moratorium on euthanasia legally binding across the country and said that mayors who disobey would face punishment.

The Ministry also intends to help manage and finance construction of shelters, Syrovatka said.

Syrovatka vowed that dogs that couldn't be housed in shelters would be sterilized and released, as is done in the West, but those measures are costly and finding funding would be hard at a time when the Ukrainian economy is relying on international loans.

Also, the minister's comments appeared to suggest that the six-month killing ban is a temporary measure aimed at quelling criticism ahead of Euro 2012. It was unclear whether the ban would remain in force beyond the championship.

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