Kyiv Dog Hunters
After receiving many complaints about street dogs being killed in Kyiv in time for the Eurovision Song Contest, on 10 April 2017 Naturewatch Foundation met with the Director of the Department of Urban Beautification and Preservation of Environment at the Kyiv Municipality to discuss the matter. The Deputy Director and two senior staff members were also present, along with a representative from the City Veterinary Service.
Representing Naturewatch Foundation at the meeting were Mr Bogachyk and Mr Faulkner. Sasha Bogachyk is one of our representatives in Ukraine who is implementing a school education programme on our behalf in cities across Ukraine. Brian Faulkner is from the UK and is an international expert on stray animal management.
The Director of the Department of Urban Beautification and Preservation of Environment, Mr Fischuk, stated that his department did not receive instruction to remove stray animals in time for the Eurovision Song Contest. However, he is aware of dog hunters operating in Kyiv, and his department abnegates any association to their illegal activities.
Fischuk explained that dog hunters have been operating unlawfully for many years, and this is not an isolated issue associated with the Eurovision Song Contest.
Mr. Fischuk explained that his Department has recently undergone a mass reorganisation and his new team are keen to improve the welfare of street dogs in Kyiv, starting with their stray animal management programme, humane education aimed at school children, and tackling animal crime.
The Department plans to introduce an animal crime hotline, where members of the public can report cases of animal abuse. A team of trained inspectors will then respond to the reports and collaborate with the police to investigate the allegations – very similar to the work of the UK’s RSPCA Inspectorate. Fischuk stated that discussions regarding this proposal are currently underway between his Department and the police.
Discussions are also underway between Naturewatch Foundation and Mr Fischuk regarding future collaboration with his department to assist with improving the welfare of stray animals in Kyiv and tackling animal-related crime.