“Appeal of Ukraine animal welfare activists to
the Members of the Inter group for animal welfare of the European Parliament
February 14, 2019
Animal welfare and animal rights activists of Ukraine and compassionate citizens thank you for your support in saving wild animals from Igor Padalko zoo in Pokrovsk, Ukraine – the worst zoo of Europe.
We express special gratitude to Stefan Eck who reacted first to the problem of animal suffering and stretched his hand, we thank the chair Sirpa Pietikäinen, who took emergency measures to save dying animals, Anja Hazekamp, who provided an opportunity to raise our concerns at the meeting of the Inter group, John Flack, who was ready to go to Pokrovsk immediately, and his colleague Rupert Matthews, who took the sufferings of the animals close to his heart. We highly appreciate the support that you provided by responding to our petition asking for help, signed by more than 30 thousand citizens of Ukraine.
We felt your support and, apparently, the officials of the Ministry of Ecology, too, because after five years of the failed attempts, things started to move. Unfortunately, we have to admit that it would be irrelevant to talk about success, because the situation with a handful of animals saved from Pokrovsk zoo has not been legally or practically resolved yet.
The evacuation of animals at the end of December last year was canceled by the Ministry of Ecology, and around hundred zoo animals disappeared without a trace, including primates, wolves, foxes, raccoons, donkeys, llamas, a camel and rare birds. The old blind lion and two bears vanished, a young lion was starved to death From hunger the bears tore off their fur to eat it, it was a hideousness abuse. To date, 11 bears and five lions have been evacuated. The fate of other animals is unknown.
According to local residents, during five years, hundreds of animals died and went missing in the Padalko Zoo. On the territory of the zoo there are still exhausted horses and dogs on chain, who do not even have bowls, they just lick snow replacing water and food.
The sad epilogue of the Pokrovsk zoo story is that laws to protect animals can’t be implemented, and officials do not regard animal welfare as a serious matter, making efforts not to save animals, but to hush up the scandal. Veterinary examinations and transportation of animals of Pokrovsk were paid from donations of citizens of Ukraine, the Ministry of Ecology did not allocate a penny to the evacuation of the animals of Pokrovsk.
The evacuated animals are not microchipped, relevant documentation is missing.
Alas, according to the Deputy Minister of Ecology, Mr. Vasil Poluiko, there are 60 zoo in our country, similar to the Padalko’s concentration camp, subsequently the problem of keeping wild animals in captivity requires systemic resolution.
As you know, the majority of Ukrainian citizens choose the European path, so striving for European values is a sincere choice of people who do not want cruelty, they advocate for the emancipation of society, sharing humane views on harmonious coexistence with the other earthlings: domestic and wild animals.
In the absence of functional institutions and effective mechanisms for the protection of animals in our country, we consider the participation of MEPs in promoting the best European practices as a unique opportunity to reform our society in a meaningful way, bringing it closer to the European Union.
That is why we hope for your support of the civil society of Ukraine, which is committed to reforms, in particular, with regard to the welfare of animals, and their protection from cruelty.
We hope that Article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty will be a subject of the EU Enlargement policy in negotiations with our government, which promises European way for our country.
We also hope that we will have the opportunity to personally meet with you and highlight the full range of problems faced by animal welfare movement of Ukraine. We are convinced of the importance of our cause for the emancipation and progress of society.
The story of Padalko zoo confirms: a human does not have two hearts, the animal abuser Igor Padalko was arrested accused of child abuse. The tragedy could have been avoided if five years ago the authorities had listened to the Pokrovsky animal welfare activists.
Animal protection is the protection of humanism. We hope that you can explain that to your counterparts in Verhovna Rada. They will not ignore your opinion as they ignore ours.”
The petition to the European Parliament asking MEPs to save Pokrovsk zoo animals was singed by more than 30 thousand people. Please find further information on problems of Wildlife in Ukraine in groups #SaveUkraineBears #МишкиПокровск #LionDonetsk