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Council of Europe: stop Ukraine from passing a law that legalizes hunting of cats and dogs

This petition had 8,428 supporters

This petition is a joint action of Occupy for Animals and Million Actions for Animals Rights. The petition was started November 6, 2012.

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The Ukrainian Government - the State Council of Ukraine - has accepted a new law in first reading in February 2012, that intends to legalize unlimited shooting (hunting) of dogs and cats, among other animals such as wolves, foxes and many others.

According to MP John Hare, a member of the Committee on Environmental Policy, Natural Resources and Elimination of Consequences of Chernobyl Catastrophe Parliament, the Committee has not yet considered the draft law "On the reform and improvement of the permit system in the field of environmental protection, management and sustainable use of natural resources and environmental safety, reduce the regulatory burden on businesses" № 9139 introduced 9/9/2011 but it could happen this week. The subject of legislative initiative is the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the initiator of the bill is Mykola Azarov (

If this law passes, dog and cat hunting even in settlements will be legalized.

After nation wide protests and articles in mass media, the committee of State Council made changes that take into consideration many comments made by society and representatives of the Ministry of Ecology.

Many comments but not the main one: the presented draft law still contains the regulation to provide permits on "hunting on homeless dogs and cats"- in any time and anywhere, even in places where hunting is forbidden.

The draft contains a quote:

"Permit on special use of the objects of animal world can be issued by district:

- Kiev and Sevastopol city state administrations, and on the territory of Autonomous Republic of Crimea - by the executive authority body of Autonomous Republic of Crimea responsible for natural environment protection - on hunting on wolves, foxes, MIGRANT DOGS AND CATS, gray crows, magpies, rooks and selective diagnostic shooting of game animals for veterinary and sanitary expertise within the territories and protected areas;

- central executive body responsible for ensuring of implementation of the state policy in the field of forestry and hunting, and in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea - the executive body of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea responsible for forestry and hunting - for hunting on wild boars, axis and European deer, moose, mouflon, squirrels, marmots, beavers, badgers, muskrat, marten and stone, American mink, the hunting on wolves, foxes, MIGRANT DOGS AND CATS, gray crow, magpie, rook not in hunting season or in prohibited for hunting locations (excluding protected areas), foxes and raccoon dogs during the year in the areas of game breeding."

That means that Kiev and Sevastopol city and regional administrations can grant permits for hunting on (shooting) "migrant dogs and cats". The same permit to hunt these companion animals can be provided by executive hunting agencies for shooting, outside the hunting season (during the year) and in places not designated for hunting (thus, in the settlements).

It is important to mention, that the legislation of Ukraine does not contain such term as "migrant dogs and cats" and its definition/explanation.

Art. 1 of the Law of Ukraine "On protection of animals from cruelty" includes concept definition of "domestic animals" (which includes dogs and cats) and "homeless animals", which are referred to as "pets, abandoned by human or semi-formed group, able to reproduce outside human control". There is no criterion by which you can distinguish "pet animals" (whose destruction - including shooting - is strictly prohibited by Ukrainian law) from "homeless animals".

So all dogs and cats outdoors are in danger of being killed.

This is an unprecedented piece of legislation... It is a slap in the face of the many animal rights activists and organizations trying so hard to help Ukraine's homeless animals. 

The tendencies that this law will be adopted on second reading are great. There are currently elections in the Ukraine, and the political authorities are preoccupied with other issues, so that this law might "slip through" easily.  

Ukraine being a signatory of the European Council's Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals since July 5, 2011 (although the document was never ratified), we are addressing this petition to the Council of Europe, with copy to be sent to Mr Erler from the European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conversation of Animals, to express our ardent plea that the Council of Europe sends a strong message to Ukraine to remind them of their obligations in terms of animal welfare as a signatory of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, and that the Council of Europe tries to bring the Ukrainian Government to reason and to give up their evil plans.

A copy will also be sent to the Ukrainian Parliament, and the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

Furthermore, we believe that only intervention of mass media and society can prevent this threat of turning cities and villages into hunting zone, and we kindly ask you to share this information with as many as you can. Please share, tweet and post on the Facebook-pages of every organisation that you can think of. 

We thank you very much, in advance, for everything that you can do to help the poor, unfortunate animals of Ukraine. This criminal law shall not pass!

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