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‘Another step in humane attitude towards animals.’

Like Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova has a 30-year anniversary of independence this year.

A country with a population of under 3 million, with Romania to the West and Ukraine to the East. The capital of Moldova is Chișinău (pronounced Kishihnow). The languages are Russian and Romanian.

During 2020, we were invited to train the police in Moldova.

We started discussion with The Ministry of Internal Affairs who are the central executive responsible for all law enforcement and crime prevention and are, therefore, responsible for all community safety issues, all crimes and animal cruelty.

After several months of planning, we arranged with the SCPA (Sectia de Control si Protectia Animalelor) in Chișinău and the police, two online training sessions - one for the officers and one for animal volunteers and groups across the country. 

What is our training? 

With police officers we explain why animal cruelty is an important crime and how it links to domestic violence, child abuse and other violent crime.

In Moldova, there is much organised crime so we cover how subjects such as dog fighting link to this, how guns and drugs can be more easily recovered by investigating organised animal abuse. We discuss animal law and how to successfully prosecute cases. We discuss partnership working.

With animal groups, we explain how to work more effectively with the police to help animals. We explain about how the laws of evidence work and how to build strong campaigns to help prevent the abuse of animals.

Technology during the time of COVID-19

Most of us have become accustomed to Zoom meetings over the last year with family or for work and have had to learn this technology that has kept us closer.

Did you know though, that it is possible to run simultaneous Zoom channels for different languages during the same meeting so each participant can choose which language they prefer?

With the help of some amazing volunteers, we ‘cracked’ it and delivered our training in English, Russian and Romanian to police officers one day and to animal groups and volunteers another.

For the latter event, we broadcast live across Moldova to reach an even wider audience on social media.

Thank you from the Ministry of Internal Affairs

Positive feedback is always welcome when we run our training and it was rewarding to hear from the Senior Police Officer a thank you, on behalf of the Ministry of Internal Affairs from the Moldovan Government.

I’ve also highlighted a few comments we received from attendees (the comments have been translated).

  • “Finally, an education for the police society.”
  • “Another step in humane attitude towards animals.”
  • “After all, there is hope, but it is slow!”
  • “We need to involve the whole nation in this!!!”
  • “This webinar can and should only be welcomed. Although, there are chiefs above the lower ranks of the police, and it depends on them whether or not the Protocol to bring the criminal to justice will be drawn up. And the second is no less important, if not more important such a kind of transmission for the residents of Chisinau, to educate them in humane treatment of homeless animals”
  • “Here is an interesting and useful seminar yesterday. Step forward in fighting cruelty to animals in our city.”
  • “This must be organised with the participation of the Mayor and all employees of the Mayor’s office, in schools and on television.”
  • Something is changing in society and that’s good.” 

Media

There were also several media pieces linked to our training. In the piece for Moldova.org below,

I was asked about why the link between animal and human violence is important, what I understood about Moldovan policy and problems with animal cruelty and how I thought each could be addressed to improve animal welfare across the country.

This was a theme throughout the training and, when asked to summarise five areas I felt were important, I could reply:

  1. Work together for animals. Strong partnerships are crucial. 
  2. Learn from other countries. There are so many good practices around the globe that help improve animal welfare. 
  3. Understand what animal abuse is really about - a reflection of society, a community or perhaps a family unit. 
  4. Ensure animal laws are effective. 
  5. Be positive. There are so many volunteers and people that care. It is easy to be drawn into a negative spiral when faced with the huge challenge that is addressing animal welfare. There are so many good things happening and much hope for animals. 

Another step forward

Our work across Ukraine has taken us to 10 cities (although 21 took part in World Animal Day 2019) and we can use our knowledge now to help others elsewhere.

Our virtual journey across the Republic of Moldova was something unique in animal welfare and Naturewatch Foundation is proud that we can continue this ground-breaking campaign with the help of our supporters.

There will now be formal meetings across Moldova between the police and animal groups on how they can make their country safer for animals AND people.