World Animal Day was celebrated on October 4. That is why on this day about two hundred animal rights activists and concerned citizens came to the Independence Square to remind that all over the world, including in Ukraine, animal rights are grossly violated.
Action ‘Protect the animals!’ took place instead of the annual march for animal rights, which this year did not take place due to quarantine measures. Accordingly, instead of several thousand participants who march through Kyiv every year, several hundred of them came to Maidan. The demonstration took place with the observance of social distance – the organizers drew a marking in the form of dog paws on Maidan. And most of the protesters were in masks.
The main demand of the action is the adoption of the bill № 2360, which bans fur farms in Ukraine, use of animals in circuses, contact zoos, dolphinariums, and bans the use of animals for photo services and begging with animals. By the way, it should be noted that photo services with animals are prohibited in Kyiv. In several cities, in the capital, in particular, mobile circuses with animals are banned.
“This composition of the Verkhovna Rada has been sitting for a year, but so far no animal protection bill has been passed. Today we went out to remind parliamentarians, especially those who promoted animal protection, that it is their duty to protect those who cannot do it themselves,” one of the organizers said.
He also noted that fieldwork was also important, but it solves the problem of animal exploitation only sometimes, while thousands of animals across the country suffer from cruelty.
“Our main demand today is to pass the law № 2360 we have developed and to ban knackeries, following the example of European countries. This must be done urgently because the ban on fur farms in the EU has led to the relocation of this inhumane and dirty business to Ukraine. We have to show that we are a civilized European country, in which it is also inadmissible to skin living beings,” said Pavlo Vyshebaba, the coordinator of HutroOFF campaign.
The organizers of the action said that recently they together with the community of Sinhury village of Zhytomyr region managed to seize the property of a local fur farm. According to them, this will help save about 40,000 animals a year, which are killed for their fur coats.
In addition, animal rights activists made the following demands:
- prohibition of euthanasia of homeless animals;
- hunting ban;
- cessation of testing of cosmetics and household chemicals on animals and ban on animal experiments;
- creation of local municipal animal rescue services;
- banning the production and sale of foie-gras and strengthening the protection of farm animals;
- introduction of vegan options in educational institutions: children should have a choice;
- creation of rehabilitation centers for animals removed from areas of prohibited activities and from illegal owners (or offenders);
- establishing a dialogue with the national police on prevention, monitoring, and investigation of animal cruelty;
- launch of educational programs and projects to promote humane and responsible treatment of animals;
- making areas for walking with pets.
Among those who supported the action was Ukrainian rap singer Alyona Alyona. She told me about her idea to introduce a vegan menu at gas stations. However, when she turned with this idea directly to the gas station networks, she was told that she could not be a vegetarian with her weight, and therefore could not protect their interests. Therefore, the singer urged everyone to address the owners of gas stations with this idea.
The action was attended by people of different ages, statuses, and nationalities. Most came with homemade posters, some with animals.
“Such actions prove once again that humanity is timely and our society is ready for changes in the field of animal protection. We hope that our politicians have also heard us and Ukrainian legislation will change in accordance with EU norms and ethics,” the co-organizer Andriana Fedevych said.