Kyiv City Society for the Protection of Animals received an email from Anna who lives in Brussels. Anna expresses her anxiety about the handling of wild animals in Crimea. During her visit in summer 2007 she observed repeatedly photographers' use of exotic animals in kind of "live inventory".
Following our advice and support, Anna sent a letter to the authorities of Autonomous Republic Crimea. On her behalf we publish it here:
Mr. Anatoliy Gritsenko
Head of Crimea Parliament
Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,
18 Karla Marksa str.,
Dear Mr Gritsenko,
At the beginning I would like to thank you for your attention and hope for your help in the case I turn to you with.
This year I spent holidays in Ukraine and I consider your country as beautiful and very attractive for foreign tourists. I enjoyed the beauty of the landscapes and hospitality of Ukrainian people, but unfortunately I cannot call my stay as pleasant. Additionally I would not be able to recommend this country to my colleagues who were planning a visit there.
This results from what I saw in several places which I visited (Yalta, Aluszta, Sydak). It each of the above mentioned places I saw wild animals (monkeys, eagles, owls, crocodiles) being treated as live requisites for photos with tourists. I saw people earning money from this illegal activity and there was no authority interested in it even though they were not hiding (just the opposite, they were smiling and openly saying that the animals come from contraband).
I contacted other tourists who visited Ukraine and it seems to be a regular and long-lasting situation. All the people with who I contacted were disgusted what they saw and send me pictures they made to prove their stories (I attach them to this email).
I would like to kindly ask you what can be done to stop this situation, especially as this is for sure illegal and against law of Ukraine «On the Protection of Animals from Brutal Treatment» #3447-IV of 21.02.2006, as I was informed by Ukrainian organisations.
I know that in Kiev there exists a municipal decree #678 of 08.06.2007 that prohibits use of animals in kind of "live inventory". It is a very important step toward normalisation of the animal rights. I count very much on your support to undertake any actions to implement similar decree in Crimea.
I live right now in Belgium and I know that a lot of people both in Belgium and Poland is very interested in this case and carefully observe how it would be solved.
On their behalf and on behalf of myself I would be very grateful for your answer because I would be happy to be able to promote Ukraine as it deserves instead of being forced to describe distractive images.
Thank you very much for your answer in advance,
Ps. Below pictures made on Aj-Petri mountain in September.
Kyiv City Society for the Protection of Animals shares Anna's concern and on October 27, 2007 sent another letter (see below) to Crimea officials such as:
Translation from Russian
Verein für Entwicklung des Tierschutzes
Längimoosstr. 16, CH-3075 Rüfenacht
Tel. +41 79 23 79 213
Fax +41 860 318 320 378
October 27, 2007
To the Head of Parliament
The Parliament of Autonomous Republic of Crimea
18 Karla Marksa street
Dear Mr. Gritsenko,
Thank you for this opportunity to appeal to you for the issue that deeply worries us, the humane treatment of animals in Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Verein für Entwicklung des Tierschutzes VERETIS (Society for the Development of Animal Protection) is swiss civil society organisation for the protection of animals, which specializes in support and development of humanity towards animals in Ukraine and helps non-governmental shelters for stray animals. Significant part of the Society members are citizens of Ukraine that live abroad temporary or permanently. Hence our special attention to the state of animal protection affairs particularly in Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
We want to stress that the impression of Western Europe tourists visiting Crimea undoubtedly impacts the image of the Autonomous Republic worldwide. Their observations related to treatment of animals may unfortunately make null and void any perception of Crimea as a developed european resort. It's hardly worth of mentioning that eyewitness stories about wide distribution of medieval cruelty and illegality make far deeper impression than any tourist office booklets!
Tourist business in Crimea is widely using wild animals in kind of "live inventory". Their living conditions are absolutely unnatural and dangerous for their health and life. When using the animals protected by special regulations (such as thouse listed in The Red Book or which import/export is prohibited), the very acquisition of them is illegal.
We suppose that adoption in 2006 the new Law on the Protection of Animals from Brutal Treatment (3447-IV) lays the foundation for building humane Europe-like society in Ukraine. Any violations of this Law are first of all illegal. Abiding the laws is the very cornerstone of european culture, therefore ukrainian officials' reaction to unlawful acts against animals is especially indicative for europeans. Currently the reaction is just continuous lawless handling of animals though.
We take the liberty and draw your attention to similar problem and it's solution found by Kyiv municipal authorities, the decree #678 "The measures related to keeping of wild animals in Kyiv". This decree prohibits uncontrolled use of wild animals in kind of "live inventory" and extends the legal base against acts of brutality.
We believe that similar legislative act would affect positively the state of animal protection affairs in Autonomous Republic of Crimea too and, consequently, strengthen its image of developed european resort worldwide. We hope for your personal contribution to prevention of inhumanity to animals.
The President of Verein für Entwicklung des Tierschutzes
The campaign got crawned with Crimea parliament's adoption on March 19, 2008 of the decree "For keeping of wild animals and birds in Autonomous Republic of Crimea", which prohibits the exploitation of wild animals by street photographers. See the article by UNIAN.