Day of mourning at Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council) of Ukraine
October 4-5 animal protectors in Ukraine will conduct the first national event to mark the International Day of Protection of Animals. International Day for the Protection of Animals was established in 1931 to honor the memory of Francis of Assisi – the patron of all life. Since then this day is celebrated in all European countries. This year in England, for example, during the day will worship in churches for health, prosperity and peace for all living things.
In Ukraine this day animal protectors declared day of mourning for those killed and tortured human friends. It’s no secret that the mass killings of homeless animals (also to those ranks often get quite homely ones, thrown out by their masters, especially newborns) with the upcoming Euro 2012 turned our country into a brutal and horrible routine.
Pictures of Oswiecim and Buhenwald crematoriums is still too fresh in european memory for viewing nowadays the same picture they observe in Ukraine: mobile furnaces where 4-paw human friends are burned alive, which are driving in the streets of Mariupol and Lugansk and used at full capacity under the Kuiv in Borodianka shelter.
In October 2007 the Kiev City Council, heading in a civilized way, adopted new Rules for keeping dogs and cats in Kiev, and in December of that year – the Program of reducing the number of stray animals by humane methods. The program included capturing and mass sterilization of stray animals with their subsequent returning to place of their original residence (the CNR method – catch/neuter/return). It was provided by the Rules to establish control over breeding of animals. For example, Paragraph 3.11 of the Rules obligated owners of dogs and cats to adjust their animals offspring by sterilization of those who have no breeding value, and Paragraph 3.12 forbided owners to engage in breeding … if they could not keep and settle an offspring.
Thus, cumulatively, Program and Rules were aimed to “overlap” both sources of replenishing number of homeless animals: their natural reproduction (the program was based on getting rid them of their reproductive capacity) and replenishment by uncontrolled reproduction of proprietary animal and their subsequent ejection into the street.
Analysis of the European experience of control of the number of homeless dogs ( http://www.kontrast.org.ua/news/1183.html ) shows that the model chosen by the Kiev government regulation (CNR) is widely used in European countries, based on consistent humane principles and has significant advantages over other models, in particular, requires not more funding than the other models (capture without return). In all countries where it is used at the national or regional level, the situation of homeless animals is controlled, and their numbers at least do not increase. Instead, countries where killing is the way of regulation , the number of homeless animals is continuously growing. Practice of killing is common exclusively in some post-communist countries, mostly with the strong influence of Muslim traditions (Albania, Armenia). In the same group Moldova and Ukraine are also appeared . Thus, as experience shows, cruelty and barbarism found also economically irrational and reduced to not only loss of the positive image of Ukraine in Europe, but also to vain and fruitless expenditure of public funds.
However, the maximum efficiency of method of regulation chosen by Kyiv is achieved only by joint efforts of civic animalprotect organizations with work of state and local governments toward preventing replenishment contingent of homeless animals due to uncontrolled breeding of property. There are following means of such prevention:
· Obligatory registration of proprietary dogs;
· Preferential proprietary sterilization of animals for vulnerable groups of people (with low income – such as pensioners, invalids, etc.);
· Educational work with the population (social advertising, publishing, television and radio, lecture work in schools, etc.)
Those countries reached the greatest success in regulating the number of homeless animals by CNR where state and / or local authorities has been involved into implementation of means of prevention of uncontrolled breeding of proprietary animals.
Adopted by Kyiv city authorities (as well as Kharkov, Odessa and several other cities) program included some of these measures. In practice, however its implementation was disrupted: there was neither mass capture and sterilization, nor creation of the mini-shelters for homeless animals for staying during sterilization nor, above all, the introduction of birth control animals that have got their owners, nor conducting information and educational work among the population that would contribute to recovering the main sources of increasing stray animals.
Over the period of 2008 – early 2010 implementation and funding of the Programme took place mostly by volunteers – Kyiv residents who spend their life time and their own money to capture, sterilization, postoperative support-stationar staying after sterelization / neutering, vaccination against zoonotic (transmitted to man) diseases stray animals and taking measures to adoptation in new families. However, if in 2008 – in early 2009, the city government not at least put up resistance to these measures, providing an partial opportunity for free sterilization and, for although in very limited volume, but postoperative stationar (in communal vetclinic at Troeschina district,- author’s notes). But since 2009 the situation changed at full opposite – public organizations were completely excluded from participation in the Program and control over this process: it was stopped informing public organizations about the date and place of captures, public organizations representatives were denied visiting Communal utility “Shelter for animals” Borodyanka” and denied the opportunity to take animals under their care, stopped free sterilization and free postoperational stay in municipal veterinary institutions.
As a result of non-fulfillment and deliberate sabotage of Programme, due to already sterilized and healthy, vaccinated animals that were under the care of volunteers were DESTROYED, aggressive, ailing, unvaccinated and unsterilized, which continue to breed.came on their place in the suburbs. Lack of proper registration of proprietary animal, lack of measures to encourage their sterilization, led to the next replenishment of homeless animals with those that were thrown out by uncontrolled breeders. As a result of these processes the number of homeless animals in the city, despite all the efforts of volunteers, not supported by local authorities has increased to the critical point. And the reason is not realization of the Program but its sabotage!
More worse situation is in other cities of Ukraine. In most of them local government even do not want to cooperate and ignores not only offers of animal protectors, but also a LAW OF UKRAINE No. 3447 – IV On the Protection of Animals from Cruelty, adopted in February 2006.
In recent years animal protectors of Ukraine tried to achieve a civilized solution of this problem at the local government by both – work and conducting confrontation and picket at the walls of City Hall. With the increasing negative international reaction to the actions of Ukrainian local authorities, especially after August 30 when animal protectros picketed the arrival of the President Janukovich in Berlin” and The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine received a letters, warning of boycott Euro 2012 in Ukraine, some changes seemed to be started.
What’s more: at the same meeting animal carers heard that a significant part of questions related to the problem can not and will not be solved by local authorities. And some of these statements are making sense. Local authorities indeed can not jump over his own head and overcome those obstacles on the way to solving the problems which inherented in current regulatory framework. And in most cases government uses such interferences to do nothing. This applies in particular to the already mentioned measures of birth control of owners animals taxes, penalties, local taxes, duties and privileges, which could be to encourage pet owners to sterilize their pets, those that do not have no breeding value. And in conditions of continuous replenishment of homeless animals due to thrown away owner’s pets any attempts to solve the problem are doomed to failure.
In Kiev animalcare organizations were invited to a meeting with heads of district councils, representatives of central government – Ministry of Environmental Protection and the State Department of Veterinary Medicine. The meeting, held September 8th 2010, chaired by A. Golubchenko – Deputy Mayor, seemed to be constructive. Animal protectors were invited to make proposals for solving the problem of reducing the number of homeless animals in the city and it was promised to discuss them and reach mutual result at the next joint meeting which was planned to held in 10 days. Proposals have been made by officially – during picketing KSCA Sept. 10. However, 10 days passed by a long time ago, but promises, as always, remain only promises.
Besides, there are too much ambiguities and contradictions in the operating (rather called – “inoperative”) Law on animal protection … – so much that it can be used by anybody as he pleases. For example, in Article 1, where concepts used in the law are defined, only 4 categories of animals are named: wild, domestic, agricultural and homeless. And the homeless ones called “domestic animals abandoned by humans or living in semi-free groups, able to reproduce outside man’s control“. In the same time in Article 17, which defines cases in which killing of animals is permitted, another category not previously mentioned is appeared – “animals not kept by man but existing in conditions wholly or partly caused by human activity“. Usually rodents is called in this way – rats, mice. etc. However, using this dressing action of the “murderous” article applies to homeless animals – those which left unattended, although there is any words mentioned about them in Article 17.
Another appellation, nowhere else in the law is not used, appears in Article 24 – “stray dogs“. And what these ones are? Law doesn’t define them. Do they differ from the homeless and how to distinguish which of them are attributes? And if they do not differ, why various terms for quarantine and follow different destinies are defined for “homeless” and “stray“. Homeless ones “may be returned to owners”, and stray – only transferred to the shelter. Here is your cat jumped out of the door and run the world behind. You are looking for it. And the service of capture catches her and … recognizes as not homeless, but stray. On what basis? However, if it named stray - according to letter of the law, it can not be returned to you. Interesting situation, is not it?
Thus, the law requires immediate correction. Without it we can not avoid its different understanding in the different cities of Ukraine and by various officials.
Nevertheless, the Bill of the new wording of the Law -designed by animalprotectors and unofficially passed to the Supreme Council of Ukraine (Parliament) for the second year still be here. However, during the working on the law no one wants to take into consideration changes which was proposed in the mentioned Bill. Instead, in December 2009 Parliament has abolished licensing for breeding animals. «Be fruitful and multiply!», animals, and using your offspring will be easy to launder budget funds allocated for murder!
In February 2010 amendments to the law which were adopted which, among really good innovations, canceled responsibility for abuse on domestic and homeless animals at all. In particular, Article 35 identified cases involving the liability. Here is the text of this article in the new proposed wording:
“Article 35. Responsibility for violation of legislation protecting animals from cruelty
Responsibility for violation of legislation protecting animals from cruelty are natural and legal persons guilty of:
- Violating the anti-epizootic, veterinary and sanitary, quarantine rules and regulations;
- Abuse of the animals during the entertainment or sports events, which include fighting animals or their elements, and other events that cause suffering, injury, bodily injury or death of animals;
- non-fulfillment of legitimate requirements of control authorities , that carry out control on protecting animals from cruelty.
- Violation of legislation protecting animals from cruelty entails administrative, civil or criminal liability under law.
- Responsibility for other violations of legislation protecting animals from cruelty may be set by present Law
Individuals and legal persons are obliged to compensate damage caused to them due to violation of legislation for protecting animals from abuse, in the manner and amounts set by law. “
Apparently, only three cases involving the liability:
- Violation of sanitary regulations, violations of the treatment of animals during entertainment activities and non-compliance with the requirements, of local authorities that make control on matters relating to animals.
So, responsible for cruelty to domestic and stray animals are not provided.
In practice it means that, torment, murder, torture – cutting off the legs and scratching out eyes, burning alive and hung on trees will be possible to do without punishment. Instead, keep pets at home becomes problematic: the rescuers, who in their own funds treat homeless animals, always could be blamed, for example, in anti-sanitation (which is just forbidden by the law). And what is more: local authorities may make decisions with impunity about the massacres, even for example, force removal of pets from owners. But those who will protest against the arbitrary power and try to protect their own pets, will become violators of the law (see paragraph 3) and subjects to punishment.
Fortunately, President Yushchenko who was in force in that time, vetoed the law albeit with a ridiculous reason, therefore, the Law has preserved the validity of the old version. However, according to lobby information from the Parliament, lawmakers plan to return to see it again and can adopt this harmful version now, in October 2010.
To prevent changes in the law for the worse, to attract attention of deputies to the possibilities of a civilized way that gives us the European experience and which are incorporated in the project developed by animalprotectors, they decided to celebrate the day of mourning for the innocent victims by mass “march on Parliament” – conduct rally-requiem for the dead under the walls of the legislature.
Action will begin 4 th at 6 p.m. in the evening , when in the central squares of cities in Ukraine will burn candles of mourning. People would just stand with the photos of their killed animals and will remember them. But at the 5 th at 12 o’clock animal protectors of Ukraine must go to the centers of local authorities and support with their requirements their capital colleagues who will express their proposals to lawmakers. Among these requirements is not only an immediate end of killings, but also:
— Real, not fictional criminal responsibility for cruelty and murder;
— Tax penalties for reproduction and sale breed animals for profit;
— Penalties for uncontrolled breeding and throwing animals into the street animals;
— Licensing of animal breeding
— Legal legalization of carers for homeless animals and program CNR (capture-neuter-return) in the scale of the whole country.
Within the bounds of Action performance-requiem will take place, in its final you can literally hear how the heartbeat of dying animal is stopped, and see how the balloons fly away in the sky, that symbolizing the souls of friends tortured and killed by people. The action will participate famous culture and art persons of Ukraine together with their four-paw pets. Animal protectors make an appeal to all concerned to join the action.
Organizers of the rally:
· Громадянська ініціатива «Форум допомоги безпритульним тваринам Ua-vet» / Civic Initiative Forum of help to homeless animals Ua-vet »
· Асоціація зоозахисних організацій України (АЗОУ) / Association of Animal Protect Organizations of Ukraine (AZOU)
· ГО «Інститут сучасних проблем України» (ГО ІСПУ) Public organization “Institute for Contemporary issues in Ukraine”
· Громадянська кампанія «Форум порятунку Києва» Civil campaign “Forum of Kyiv Saving”
· Київське товариство захисту тварин (КТЗЖ) / Kyiv Society for the Protection of Animals
· Київське міське товариство захисту тварин (КМТЗЖ) / Kiev City Society for the Protection of Animals
· Благодійне товариство «Дайте жити тварині» / Charitable Society “Give live to animals”
· ГО «Захист тварин» Святошинського р-ну м. Києва / Public organization “Protection of animals” in Sviatoshynsky district of Kyiv.
· Товариство захисту тварин «Захист» Оболонського р-ну м. Києва / Society for the Protection of Animals Protection in “Obolonsky district of Kyiv
· Товариство захисту тварин в Шевченківському районі м. Києва / Society for the Protection of Animals in the Shevchenko district of Kyiv
· Київське міське товариство гуманного ставлення до тварин «Ноєв Ковчег» / Kiev City Society for the humane treatment of animals “Noah’s Ark”.
With the support of the Молодіжної ліги захисту тварин (Youth League of Animal Protection).