The ongoing Padalko zoo (Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, Ukraine) horrendous animal abuse continues to cause sharp criticism of the whole spectrum of the European political forces. The Members of the European Parliament joined an initiative of John Flack (UK, ECR) addressing an open letter to Anotolii Dyriv, First Deputy Chair of Committee on Environmental Policy of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The Members of the European Parliament have called the Ukrainian Parliament Rada to act without delay to save the animals.
“We in The European Parliament, and I know that also my political colleagues in the United Kingdom wish to encourage Ukraine to forge closer links with the Western family of nations” John Flack MEP (UK, ECR) wrote.
“We in the west take the humane treatment of animals very seriously and would urge all in the Ukraine to follow best practice. It is not only the right thing to do but will encourage future
investment” he underlined.
MEP (UK, ECR), who initiated the letter, regrets he can not leave for Porkovsk immediately, to accept the invitation of the animal welfare groups in Ukraine, but out of his own convictions and the wish of his electorate to monitor the situation closely, he is considering a trip to Ukraine in the nearest future to see how the situation with Padalko zoo abused animals has been resolved, and what are the conditions of the other animals in private, and public zoos.
Mr.Flack urges Mr.Dyriv and the Rada committee he chairs to use the “considerable influence to protect the vulnerable and abused animals”.
In relation to Pokrovsk zoo MEPs call Mr.Dyriv to “arrange for unrestricted access by qualified veterinarians to all animals”. But not only, due to the scale and gravity of abuse and cruelty, MEPs call for “police to investigate the fate of missing Lions and Bears”, that were listed on the zoos inventory at the beginning of November 2018 but are now missing without explanation.
“If crimes have been committed then their should be prosecutions, both to punish the perpetrators but also to encourage correct behaviour in others” the open letter continues.
There is also a request to arrange for permission to be granted for International and Ukrainian animal welfare charities to
“both visit and then to monitor the conditions at all Ukrainian zoos”.
European politicians ask Mr.Dyriv to consider “urgently” whether Pokrovsk zoo is a “fit and proper place” to keep animals and whether it would be in “national interest” the Padalko zoo to be closed forthwith and the animals transferred to other reputable facilities.
“With elections due shortly in Ukraine I am sure that many of your people will be closely watching the fate of these defenceless animals.
I and my colleagues would welcome the opportunity to visit you in the Ukraine and to see for ourselves the improvements you are able to bring about” the letter concludes.
The open letter was initiated (23.01.2019) and singed by the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) John Flack MEP, who is the Vice President European Parliament Animal Welfare Intergroup, and British Conservative Spokesman for Regional Development; and Rupert Matthews MEP, Member for the East Midlands (U.K), at present the letter circulates in the Europarliament, collecting signatures of the politicians.
The scandal broke out when the pictures of the animal abuse hit social media, provoking a wave of indignation in Europe, and across the globe, launching a international campaign to save Porkovsk zoo animals from Padalko zoo.
MEPs Stefan Eck, Sirpa Petiekainen, Anja Hazekamp, and legendary Brigitte Bardot have already addressed the issue, calling President Petro Porkoshenko, and Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak to save the Porkovsk zoo animals from abuse, however in vain so far. One more lion died from hunger after the transportation to another private zoo with an ambivalent reputation, and a number of animals have vanished without trace.
All the proposals of charities to transfer animals to sanctuaries were rejected by the owner of the zoo Igor Padalko, who is hoping to recover the animals after his zoo is rebuilt from public funds.
There are around 100 animals in private zoo in Pokrovsk, owned by Mr.Padalko, who denies veterinarians and activists the access to the dying animals. A few of them have been transported to another private zoo. Mr.Padalko is supported by the Mayor of Porkovsk Ruslan Trebushkin, and the governor of the Donetsk region Olexander Kutz.
The Ukrainian activists called for a demonstration in Kiev on the 24 of January opposite the Ministry of Ecology to protest against the animal abuse, and inaction of the Minister of Ecology Ostap Semerak, the petition for demanding his resignation has been circulation online, collecting the first hours two thousand signatures.