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Ukraine – Stop Animal Abuse

Last year, we launched our Police Training Programme, teaching police to recognise that animal abuse rarely exists independently of other serious crimes, and evidencing how it links with their existing work. 

We’re training police to treat all animal cruelty crimes as possible indicators of other criminal activity, such as child abuse, domestic violence, murder, drugs or firearms, and how to investigate these linked crimes professionally.

We’re also educating the public on what constitutes evidence and how to report that evidence in a police-friendly format. 

Our project aims to reduce victims of animal crime and bring suspected offenders to justice… and it’s working!
 

  • Last year, for the first time ever, someone was charged under Ukraine’s Animal Protection law, receiving a 7-year sentence
  • Throughout the rest of 2018, further convictions took place resulting in lengthy sentences of up to 6 years
  • Already this year, a man has received a 7½-year jail sentence for torturing kittens, and a woman has received a 5-year suspended sentence for poisoning homeless dogs. 
  • Currently, in one city alone, police are investigating 22 ongoing cases of animal cruelty. If other forces in the larger cities are as active, that equates to approximately 1,000 active animal abuse cases.
     
       Mr Oleksii Ziborov, Deputy Head of Patrol Police Public Relations Department, says: "Naturewatch Foundation’s training has provided us with an incredibly valuable tool and useful knowledge. This insight into criminal psychology and violent behaviour patterns means our police are now reacting to crimes with a new level of understanding that will no doubt save lives. It would be good practice for all police forces across Ukraine to benefit from this training, and I look forward to working with the Naturewatch Foundation team to make this happen."

Not only do 95% of police officers who have attended our courses to date give it their full support, but seeing so many long jail terms for animal cruelty cases shows our message is being heard, and spread far and wide!