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Anorak | Activists use Euro 2012 to worsen Ukraine’s stray dog problem

Activists use Euro 2012 to worsen Ukraine’s stray dog problem

by | 17th, January 2012

DOGS in the Ukraine are being killed in readiness for Euro 2012. Well, so say the animal rights activists. Mykola Zlochevsky, the country’s environment minister, told a cabinet meeting and the world’s media:

“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.”

His woolly directive is aimed at appeasing campaginer, like the British animal protection group Naturewatch, whose representativers met with Zlochevsky’s department. Says John Ruane, the head of Naturewatch:

“This is a fantastic victory for Ukraine, its citizens and its animals.”

Do you suppose the Ukrainian citizens plagued by stray dogs are delighted? Do you suppose they will stop killing the dogs, and use money to build the strays a home with food and water instead? Mr Ruan’s words smack of the educating missionary bestowing light upon the grateful barbarian.

Mykola Zlochevsk is no fool. While the story is hot he has reacted publicly. But in practical terms, his words are hollow, a sop to the EU and Western sensibilities.

The Sun reproted on the matter last November:

A GRISLY jumble of dogs lies dead slaughtered in the name of football. This horrific photo was taken at an animal “shelter” in the Ukraine, joint host of the Euro 2012 tournament.

Authorities have ordered thousands of stray dogs and cats to be rounded up so the streets look spick and span for visiting foreign teams and supporters.

And investigators found that, rather than being rehomed, thousands have been shot or poisoned.

It has been claimed their coats are made into furry caps and their bones ground up for animal feed.

Aren’t those Ukranians awful. But the people are doing what they feel they must. A 2010 UN report noted:

Dog bites are the most frequent animal bites in Kharkiv. In 2010, 2 340 animal bites have been registered, 1 926 caused by dogs (1 288 – by strays), 367 by cats (58 only by strays), and 58 by other animals.

In Kiev the country’s biggest city the UN reported on “frequent complaints by people about aggressive stray dogs, especially stray dog packs”.

And:

 The number of cases of stray dog bites increased by 19%, despite the decrease in total dog bites (1 248 cases for 5 months in 2009, compared to 1 369 cases for the same period in 2008). The number of people who required the anti-rabies vaccination increased by 54%. In the first 3 months of 2010, 744 dog bite cases were registered: 236 caused by owned dogs, and 497 by free-ranging.

So. What to do with the stray dogs?

Before 1995 (in Soviet Ukraine, before the enactment of Ukrainian state independency, and in the first years of independent Ukrainian state), the annual registration of pet animals was mandatory as per municipal regulations . This registration was carried out by state veterinary services and housing service and maintenance offices within the framework of widely carried out anti-rabies vaccination. The collected data were used for taxing dog owning (this tax was charged to residents of multi-storey buildings only). These payments were part of the municipal budget, and were used to maintain city green areas including the management of off-leash areas for dogs. This tax is still obligatory today, in the amount of 17 hryvnia (about Euro 1,5) annually, but after the reform of municipal services in most Ukrainian cities, veterinary services stopped transferring the data concerning anti-rabies vaccination to municipal offices. The taxing of dog keeping was stopped, thereafter.

Before the reform of municipal services, which included housing service and maintenance offices, the existing system for stray animal control ensured a small number of free-ranging animals in the streets.

And then things improved:

On 21 February 2006 the animal protection legislation (“Act on the Animal Protection from Cruelty”) was adopted in Ukraine. Before this Act was adopted, stray animals were killed “in field” by overdosing of curariform drugs within the framework of stray animal population control.

After these changes in the legislation, some Ukrainian city administrations began to abandon the old catching-and-destruction method to control stray animal population (because it became illegal, and equals the animal cruelty by law); they introduced the new more humane techniques of stray animals catching. Animals were then caught by capture loops, hoop-nets, and by “flying syringes” with tranquilizers instead

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Posted: 17th, January 2012 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink