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Happy 30th birthday, Ukraine! (And Naturewatch Foundation!)

On August 24th, 2021, Ukraine celebrates 30 years of independence - in the same year that Naturewatch Foundation also celebrates our 30th birthday. 

So much has changed over those three decades and it is critical for us that animal welfare also moves forward.

Naturewatch Foundation are proud to be a part of that journey of progress across Ukraine.

Law 2351 has been passed!

Most recently we had a HUGE success as President Zelensky signed Law 2351.

After two years of campaigning, by us and other groups, this legislation will make a real difference for wild, companion and farm animals. 

It’s a very lengthy piece of law that was drafted by lawyers that we work with on our police training, so I have summarised here a few of the main points:

  • Euthanasia for the purposes of managing stray populations becomes illegal
  • There can be no photography in the street with wild animals for the purposes of tourism
  • Foie gras production is banned
  • There can be no incitement to commit animal cruelty 
  • The age of criminal responsibility has been lowered to 14 (from 16) 
  • Children aged 16 can be held accountable for animals they own
  • Using a dog to attack another animal becomes illegal
  • Pets cannot be given as prizes
  • It is now illegal to keep an animal in a car with the temperature over 20 or below 5 (Celsius) 
  • You cannot block unused buildings where street cats have made a home
  • Rare animals and plants are better protected
  • Parks and regional landscapes must have guards to manage wildlife 
  • You cannot keep certain wild animals as pets, venomous snakes, large predators, birds of prey
  • Begging with animals is made illegal
  • There are tougher rules on any tied-up dogs and left outside
  • More regulations are in place around noise in the wildlife breeding season 1 April to June 15
  • There is an increased ability to seize abused animals from their abuser
  • Article 299 (serious cruelty) also increases sentences when children are present, sexual violence cases or people act together for cruelty

As you can see, this is a comprehensive range of reforms and there is more on animal slaughter too.

How were we involved?

  • Our supporters send around 1500 letters and emails to the Ukrainian Government.
  • As Campaign Manager, I also wrote many official letters, sent videos and research papers on various animal welfare subjects. 
  • Naturewatch Foundation regularly appeared in the media calling for this new law to be passed. 

Of course, there is more work to do.

Prosecutions for animal abuse are up 75% since our police training started, but there are three more cities that we feel need our attention as soon as we can.

There are also other draft laws relating to zoos and hunting that we would like to see progressed.

Cheltenham Radio podcast

As we are a local charity to Cheltenham, I was pleased to take part in a podcast about our work in Ukraine.

Listen to it here. 

Happy 30th Birthday Ukraine!

We look forward to working with you, for the animals, for many more years. 

Mark Randell
Campaign Manager

Read more about our work to stop animal abuse in Ukraine.

Other Cheltenham Radio podcasts:

  • Part One: an overview of the charity, with our CEO Caroline Ruane
  • Part Two: with our Campaign Manager for puppy farming and animal experiments, Sarah Carr