This country's score has stayed the same since 2014.
Recognition of animal sentience and prohibition of animal suffering
This goal assesses whether animal sentience has been recognised in legislation and explores the core legislative protections granted to animals, such as the prohibition of animal cruelty.
Animal Sentience is formally recognised in legislation
The Law of Ukraine On the Protection of Animals from Cruelty No. 3447-IV was adopted in 2006 and provides a national legislative framework on this subject. The law’s stated aim is to ‘protect animals from suffering and death as a consequence of being cruelly treated, to protect their natural rights, and to reinforce morality and compassionate behaviour in society.’
Whilst not directly referring to animal sentience, the legislation does provide in Article 4 for animals to be kept in conditions that are in accordance with their biological, species-specific and individual needs. Additionally, the law defines humane treatment of animals in Article 1 as including actions that will bring about benefit to or improve the quality of their lives. There is also recognition of negative psychological states: the definition of cruel killing of animals in Article 1 is killing animals without analgesics capable of precluding sensations of pain and fear.
The protection of this law includes farm animals, domestic animals, wild animals including domestic and wild birds, fur-bearing animals, laboratory animals and animals in zoos in circuses (Article 1). Fishing is also covered by the scope of the law.
The partial recognition of sentience in the Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006) covers a number of categories of animals used in the country. Activities covered by the law include the rearing of farm animals; the treatment of animals in nature reserves and other protected areas; hunting and fishing; ownership and breeding of companion animals; circuses and zoos; sport, leisure and entertainment; scientific research; and production, including the production of biological preparations.
However, implementation of this framework law is dependent on the creation of secondary legislation by various different government bodies depending on the category of animals involved. Articles 27 to 32 of the law specify the various responsible authorities. Despite the positive aims of the law, it appears that to date the responsible competent authorities have introduced insufficient secondary legislation to meet their obligations under the law and few animal welfare advances have been made.
Animal protection campaigners and politicians in Ukraine have cited corruption as being a barrier to improving animal welfare. According to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index , Ukraine has a low ranking showing that the country’s public sector is perceived to be one of the most corrupt in Europe. Whilst the government has passed framework legislation aimed at protecting animals, the current weaknesses in Ukraine’s governance and law enforcement procedures present significant barriers to improving animal welfare. These barriers have been commented upon in other reviews of the country, for example, by the European Union’s European Neighbourhood Policy with respect to progress being made in implementing and enforcing legislation and other measures to protect the environment. A low level of environmental awareness and consciousness of the population is another potential barrier to progress with respect to animal welfare, although this is being addressed as reported on by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in 2013.
The current unstable political situation in Ukraine represents a significant barrier to progress on many legislative and governance fronts, including animal welfare.
Article 35 of the Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty provides that any person infringing the requirements of the law bears criminal, administrative and civil legal responsibility in accordance with the law; however, it does not appear that any specific enforcement bodies have been established under the law.
• Given the extensive body of scientific evidence proving that animals are sentient, the Government of Ukraine is urged to recognise that all animals for whom there is scientific evidence – at a minimum, all vertebrates, cephalopods and decapods crustaceans – are sentient beings and to enshrine this principle into legislation. Recognising animals as sentient will underpin further animal welfare considerations.
Laws against causing animal suffering
Legislation prohibits causing suffering by deliberate acts: Article 89 on the Cruel Treatment of Animals in the Code on Administrative Offences prohibits the cruel treatment of animals, their victimisation or other actions which cause animal suffering. Article 299 of the Criminal Code also creates an offence of abuse of vertebrate animals.
The Law on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006) provides for animals to be treated according to humane principles, and prohibits certain conducts including using equipment or implements that could cause injury, forcing animals to carry out unnatural actions that could lead to injury, beating or injuring animals to force them to carry out an act, and using animals in such a way as to cause excessive physical strain (Article 18).
Article 25 prohibits causing injury, pain, mutilation or death during sporting and entertainment activities. The law also makes some provision for the needs of animals to be met: animals must have provision of their biological, species-specific and individual needs including food, water, social contact, natural movement and activity (Article 7). However, implementation of much of this law is dependent on secondary legislation being enacted by several different competent authorities at national, municipal and province level.
However, reports suggest animal cruelty, particularly in areas governed by the Law on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006), is still rife.
The activities of Ukrainian and international animal protection organisations are establishing animal welfare as an issue in the country. However, at present the current legislation does not appear to be effective to make animal welfare a mainstream concern in the country and to prevent and punish acts of cruelty.
In June 2012, a 19-year-old student was the first person in Ukrainian history to be imprisoned for animal cruelty. Legal action was taken following a campaign by animal protection advocates, who protested to the authorities when the student posted videos on the internet of his torture and killing of more than 100 dogs. In 2013 the Prime Minister called for humane treatment of homeless animals in the wake of continued national and international media coverage of cruelty. These inhumane actions took place despite the provisions of the 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty that prohibits the cruel killing of animals and makes provision for the establishment of animal shelters.
The lack of a national approach to establishing procedures to implement and enforce laws aimed at protecting animals is a barrier to improving animal welfare. Although it is positive that in 2013 the Prime Minister of Ukraine acknowledged that cruel treatment of stray animals in Ukraine continued to be an issue of international and national concern requiring action, the current political situation, governance and judicial problems present significant barriers to enforcing animal protection legislation and to improvement in this area. ,
Article 89 on the Cruel Treatment of Animals in the Code on Administrative Offences provides that cruel treatment of animals, their victimisation or other actions which cause animal suffering, mutilation or death will be punished by a fine of between nine and 21 times the non-taxable minimum income of citizens.
Article 299 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine provides for a fine or up to six months imprisonment for abuse of vertebrate animals and also for setting vertebrate animals against one another when such actions are based on hooligan or mercenary motives. The punishment for committing such offences in the presence of a young child is increased to a higher fine or imprisonment for a term of up to two years.
• The Government of Ukraine is strongly urged to amend the Law on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006) to extend its protections to all animals (both vertebrates and invertebrates), and to include a definition of animal welfare, in line with the OIE definition, explicitly promoting the Five Freedoms.
• The Government of Ukraine is urged to amend all supplementary and supporting legislation to ensure alignment with OIE animal welfare standards and to enshrine the Five Freedoms in law.
Presence of animal welfare legislation
This goal explores animal protection laws in relation to various categories of animals, namely: farm animals, animals in captivity, companion animals, working animals and animals used for entertainment, animals used for scientific research and wild animals.
Protecting animals used in farming
The 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty is applicable to farm animals. Article 21 also specifically provides that painful and injurious methods to obtain animal products should not be used and prohibits the use of biotechnological and genetic engineering breeding methods that alter the breed and external appearance of animals when this could lead to suffering.
However, Articles 21 and 28 provide that specific requirements relating to the use of animals in agriculture should be established by the central mechanism of executive power on matters of agricultural policy, currently the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food.
The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food issued an Order ‘Regulation on the procedure of the use of livestock in agriculture’ in 2013; however, a translation was not found at the time of writing.
The general provisions of the Order refer to the need for individuals and legal entities involved in the use of animals to observe the Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006), and Article 2.1 of the Order contains specific provisions for the use of animals in agriculture. These require the meeting of the physiological, species and individual needs of animals; for example, provision of food, water, contact with their own kind, and ability to perform natural activity.
Rearing – pigs
There is no policy or legislation specifically related to the rearing of pigs.
Rearing – broiler chickens
‘Order No. 53 of the Chief State Veterinary Inspector validating the Veterinary and Sanitary Requirements for Poultry Keeping Requirements’ was issued in 2001, however a translation was not found at the time of writing and so it is unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
Rearing – egg-laying hens
Order No. 53 of the ‘Chief State Veterinary Inspector validating the Veterinary and Sanitary Requirements for Poultry Keeping Requirements’ was issued in 2001, however a translation was not found at the time of writing and so it is unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
Rearing – dairy cattle and calves
There is no policy or legislation specifically related to the rearing of dairy cattle and calves.
Transport of farm animals is governed by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No 1402 of 16 November 2011 ‘On the approval of rules for animal transportation;’ however, this Resolution was not around at the time of writing. The Resolution stipulates that animals should be provided with food every 24 hours and water every 12 hours, and also protected from harmful external influences. Vehicles should be designed to prevent the injury or death of animals. Devices and techniques used for loading and unloading should also eliminate the injury and death of animals. The law applies to a number of different categories of animals, including farm animals, poultry and fish.
The Order ‘On the procedure for the use of livestock in agriculture’ (2013) also provides for humane slaughter of farm animals by requiring loss of consciousness before slaughter and separation of facilities for keeping animals before slaughter from areas where stunning and slaughter take place.
Order No. 207 of the ‘Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food validating the form of Act on removal of farm animals with a view to their extermination or slaughtering for the purpose of liquidation of particularly dangerous (quarantine) animal diseases’ was issued in 2017. However, a translation was not found at the time of writing and the Order was therefore unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
The wording of the Order shown on the website of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food acknowledges the 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty and states that there are no procedures in place in the country concerning the welfare of animals used in agriculture. The regulatory impact analysis component of the order suggests conducting outreach to industry regarding requirements and recommendations for the proper treatment of agricultural animals. Indicators of success proposed include processing and analysing the number of calls regarding individuals, businesses and community organisations violating the requirements of the legislation should it be adopted.
Ukraine farm production currently uses some of the most extreme animal confinement systems, for example, the laying hen battery cage, which is banned in the European Union. The European Commission has been criticised for omitting animal welfare provisions from the bilateral trade deal with Ukraine.
The general anti-cruelty law enforcement mechanisms apply to this category of animals, but there do not appear to be any enforcement mechanisms specifically relating to the welfare of farm animals.
• The Government of Ukraine is urged to enact legislation detailing specific welfare requirements for the rearing of farm animals during the phases of rearing, transport and slaughter. Such requirements should be legally binding and species-specific. Regular inspections on farms and slaughter establishments should be carried out with a special focus on animal welfare.
• In addition, the Government of Ukraine is urged to ban the worst forms of confinement for farm animals. In particular, the use of farrowing crates, sow stalls, and cages should be banned. The stocking density of broiler chickens should also be reduced to a maximum of 30 kg/m2 or lower. Surgical operations, such as piglet mutilations and beak trimming for egg-laying hens, should not be performed except under anaesthesia and with analgesics.
• Due to the significant animal welfare concerns associated with long distance transport, the Government of Ukraine is strongly urged to ban the export of live animals for long distances (i.e. over eight hours) and replace it with a meat only trade. Long distance transport is inherently cruel as it involves chronic stress for all animals and for some species and modes of transport it may involve overpopulation, exhaustion, excess heat or cold, inadequate ventilation and/or access to food and water, leading to disease, pain, injury or death.
Protecting animals in captivity
The 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty applies to the keeping of wild animals in captivity, including the use of animals in zoos and circuses. Article 8 establishes special requirements for keeping wild animals in captivity including a requirement for a permit to be obtained and for animals to be kept in conditions corresponding to their biological requirements in relation to their species.
Secondary legislation has been introduced by way of Order No. 429 of the Ministry of the Environment of 30 September 2010 on Keeping and Breeding Wild Animals in Captivity or Semi-Free Conditions. However, the Order was not found at the time of writing and thus was unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
Order No. 622 of 6 December 2012 on Rules and Standards for Keeping Dolphins in Captivity. Following international complaints about taking dolphins from the wild for captive purposes, the government banned this activity for three years from 2008, currently extended until 2014 by Order No. 328 registered in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on 04.10.2011 No. 1142/19880. However, a translation of the Order was not found at the time of writing and thus was unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
Private keeping of wild animals
Some secondary legislation has also been introduced at regional level. For example, in 2007 the Kiev City State Administration introduced Decree No. 678 "On measures for keeping wild animals in Kiev" guided by articles 7, 25, 28, of the 2006 Law. The Decree called for records to be kept on owners of wild animals, for a permit system governing the use of wild animals in commercial services and for facilities to be provided for confiscated wild animals. However, the Decree was not found at the time of writing and was thus unable to be assess for the Animal Protection Index.
Reports suggest that private zoos are prevalent across the country and have resulted in poor animal welfare for the animals within them.
In 2019, members of Parliament introduced a bill to ban fur farming in Ukraine, which if passed, would make it illegal to keep, breed and kill animals for fur from 2025.
In recent years Ukraine has received international attention for the poor conditions in which animals are confined in zoos despite the aspiration of the 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty that wild animals should be kept in conditions that satisfy their needs.
Within Europe, Ukraine has the second largest number of facilities in which marine mammals are held captive. Ukraine has received international criticism for taking dolphins from the wild from endangered Black Sea populations for its dolphinariums. However, in 2012 the Ukraine Government advised the Council of Europe that it had introduced legislation to prevent the taking of dolphins from the wild and that since 2008 no permits had been issued. The Government banned this activity for three years from 2008, and further extended the ban until 2014 by Order No. 328 registered in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on 04.10.2011 No. 1142/19880. However, a further extension was not found at the time of writing.
A lack of co-ordinated action by competent authorities to implement the 2006 framework legislation to protect animals from cruelty by providing for their needs in captivity presents a barrier to improving animal welfare. However, the existence of working groups that are considering issues relating to animals in captivity and the fact that action has been taken regionally is encouraging.
The website of the Ministry of Ecology and Resources contains reports in 2013 of a meeting of a working group focusing on the preservation of wild animals. Much of the meeting was reported as being dedicated to discussion of humane treatment of large carnivores held in captivity and proposals for amending Order No. 429 to improve living conditions for such animals. This is a positive sign that improvement may be possible.
The general anti-cruelty law enforcement mechanisms apply to this category of animals. In 2012 the Government advised the Council of Europe that with respect to dolphinariums, the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine carries out regular checks to ensure compliance with legal requirements in cooperation with other relevant authorities such as the Veterinary Inspection and the Public Prosecutor’s office.
• The Law on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006) covers the basic animal welfare needs of animals kept in captivity, however, the legislation could be improved by addressing the species-specific welfare needs of animals kept in captive settings, such as zoos. As a result, the Government of Ukraine is urged to produce detailed legislation specifying the conditions under which wild animals may be kept in captivity. Such regulations shall include requirements with regards to housing, feeding, handling and husbandry and should promote the Five Freedoms of all individual animals. In particular, the Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviours should be respected.
• Furthermore, the Government of Ukraine is strongly encouraged to allocate human and financial resources to create an inspection unit in charge of verifying that welfare standards are respected for animals living in captivity. Facilities where animals are kept captive should be regularly inspected, and the results of such inspections should be made public.
• The Government of Ukraine is encouraged to develop a Positive List of species, specifying which animals can be kept as companion animals, based on clear criteria including animal welfare and other relevant concerns.
• The Government of Ukraine is urged to pass the proposed legislation to fully ban fur farming. Fur farming is inherently cruel and causes pain, distress and suffering to animals.
Protecting companion animals
The provisions of the 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty encompass the keeping of companion animals.
The law requires an owner or keeper ensures the animal is kept in a way that corresponds to its biological, species and individual needs (Article 9). Article 22 covers provision of adequate food, water, prompt veterinary treatment and the opportunity for the animal to carry out all necessary movement and to have contact with animals of the same species. The law also outlines aspects of responsible pet ownership, including prevention of uncontrolled breeding and observation of health, hygiene and veterinary standards.
Secondary legislation has also been introduced regarding humane methods of killing animals under Order No. 365 of the State Committee of Veterinary Medicine of 7 September 2010 ‘On the approval of methodical recommendations of the conducting of euthanasia of animals’. However, the order was not found at the time of writing and thus was unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
Care of companion animals
Although the law outlines welfare specific requirements, it also states that Regulations regarding the keeping of pets are to be laid down by local government authorities. Some local government authorities have implemented relevant secondary legislation. For example, Decree No. 106 of February 2007 by the Kiev City State Administration on additional measures related to the treatment of animals prohibits the City Veterinary Hospital from using inhumane methods to kill animals. However, a translation was not found at the time of writing. In 2007 the Kiev City State Administration established a programme for humane regulation of strays in the city. This included collaboration of numerous experts, animal shelter and protection organisations.
In September 2013, the Parliament (Verhovna Rada) approved a law to ratify the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals , which promotes the protection and humane treatment of pet animals.
Articles 15, 23 and 24 of the Law on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006) relate to the issue of stray animals providing for the establishment of shelters, for humane catching methods and for isolation, quarantine, and disposal of captured strays. Local governments are empowered to set up communal services or enterprises to capture stray dogs, cats and other domestic animals. Individual citizens are prohibited from capturing animals unless they present a danger to those in the vicinity.
In June 2012 a 19-year-old student became the first person in Ukrainian history to be imprisoned for animal cruelty as previously noted. He was imprisoned for torturing more than 100 dogs and posting images of the torture and killing on the Internet. However, animal protectionists reported that they had to campaign before the police took any action.
Since 2006 Ukraine has been the focus of intermittent international media coverage and calls for action regarding cruelty to strays. In 2011 Members of the European Parliament and others around the world once again called for action when city authorities across Ukraine were found to have been commissioning or carrying out cruel killing of stray dogs in the run-up to Euro 2012. In response to the international outcry Ukraine’s environment minister issued a statement in November 2011 banning the killings and calling upon mayors across the country to build animal shelters.
The Ukrainian Government responded to international concerns about the treatment of strays by entering into agreements and partnerships with, for example, international animal protection organisations establishing programmes for free neutering and vaccination of strays, and in 2012 it was reported that progress had been made in several regions, including Volyn, Lutsk, Kharkov, Odessa and Kiev.
However, despite action by the national government and by some city authorities, reports of the cruel killing and poisoning of stray animals persist. For example, in 2013 it was reported that citizens of Kiev were taking the control of killing dogs into their own hands with dogs being poisoned and beaten. It appears therefore that to date legislative efforts to make the welfare of companion animals a mainstream concern of society have not been effective.
2013 saw the then Prime Minister Mykolva Azarov announce that he had given a commission to various competent authorities within the Government to find a civilised solution to the issue of strays, acknowledging concerns about cruelty to stray animals expressed in national and international media, and a spokesperson for the European Party of Ukraine stated that a “society that demonstrates cruelty to animals will never be humane to people”, pledging to work to promote adherence to the 2006 law to protect animals from cruelty.
However, intolerance and fear of stray dogs is a barrier to progress in this area. Efforts by national, provincial and municipal authorities to deal with issues involving stray animals appear to struggle, perhaps because of weak governance. Opposition from some parts of the population to programmes to neuter stray animals is another barrier to progress. For example, in 2013 the NGO Vier Pfoten reported that it had to stop its programme in Kiev to spay and neuter strays after staff received death threats, and the authorities and police in Kiev took no action.
Enforcement mechanisms exist in the Criminal and Administrative Codes, but whilst there have been many reports relating to the cruel killing of dogs in Ukraine there does not appear to have been a strong response by way of implementation and enforcement of the legislation.
• The Government of Ukraine is encouraged to engage with the International Companion Animal Management (ICAM) coalition to learn about and implement their dog population management methodology. This methodology consists of a full cycle of action, addressing the root causes of conflict between roaming dog and communities. The document is helpful to governments to manage dogs humanely as well as to help communities to live in harmony with dogs.
• The Government of Ukraine is encouraged to enact a licencing programme for all businesses using companion animals, including breeders, pet shops and shelters. Business operators should be required to ensure all animals have their Five Freedoms respected at all times, ensure all animals are vaccinated and microchipped, and be subject to regular inspections.
• The Government of Ukraine is strongly urged to ban the culling of dogs. Culling has been scientifically proven to be ineffective and therefore should be banned.
Protecting animals used for draught and recreation
Animals used for entertainment
The 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty applies to animals in this category and has provisions specifically addressing the use of animals in circuses and zoos, at exhibitions and other spectacles and to the use of animals for sport, leisure and entertainment.
Implementation of much of this law requires secondary legislation. The law states that the executive power responsible for veterinary medicine for is responsible for licensing entertainment, sport and leisure activities and that zoos require a license from the central legal mechanism of executive power responsible for conservation of the natural environment.
Article 5 of the Law on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006) bans the propagation of cruelty to animals, incitement to cruelty and the depiction of animal cruelty in entertainment or commerce. Video and photo- shoots using animals must ensure that animals are not injured, mutilated or killed. Article 18 sets out general requirements prohibiting the use of equipment or implements that could injure animals; forcing animals to carry out unnatural actions that could lead to injury; beating or injuring an animal in order to force it to carry out any act; and using animals in such a way as to put excessive physical strain on them. When training animals, it is prohibited to beat or frighten them and to remove teeth or claws. Travelling menageries are prohibited. Conducting fights between animals is forbidden, as is the conduct of sporting or entertainment activities involving the hunting down and death of an animal. The law also prohibits using animals to kill each other. However, there are exceptions related to the use of dogs in hunting other animals and birds.
Some secondary legislation to implement the requirements of the 2006 law has been introduced, for example, Order No 643 of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of 13 October 2010 ‘On the approval of the use of animals in entertainment events’ and Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 1175 of 22 December 2010 ‘On the approval of the Procedure of Issuance of Permits for Conducting Events Involving Animals’. However, neither could be found at the time of writing and thus are unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
The is no policy or legislation relating specifically to draught animals.
It appears that there is a widespread lack of awareness of the provisions of the law. For example, in 2013 Ukraine became the focus of international publicity when it was revealed that illegal bear baiting competitions were taking place in the country with the sponsorship of a major international company. The current legal framework is not effective to make the welfare of this category of animals a mainstream concern of society.
The lack of systems to effectively implement animal protection legislation, to raise awareness of legislative measures to protect animals and to ensure that laws are enforced is a barrier to improving animal welfare in Ukraine. The lack of national co-ordination of action by the various executive powers at national, provincial and municipal level is also a barrier to progress.
There are enforcement mechanisms relating to the 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty.
Article 300 of the Criminal Code includes penalties for importing, making or distributing works that promote cruelty to animals. Penalties include a fine of up to 300 times the tax-free minimum income of citizens and imprisonment for up to five years.
• The Government of Ukraine is urged to forbid the organisation of and attendance to entertainment events causing animal suffering. Such a prohibition should cover circuses, rodeos, animal fights, animal races, rides on wild animals and all other forms of entertainment. Notably, the Government is strongly encouraged to ban the use of all animals in circuses. Phasing out of animals for entertainment purposes could start with a ban on the use of wild animals for such performances.
• The Government of Ukraine is strongly encouraged to adopt specific legislation to address the welfare of working animals, including working equids, following the requirements of the OIE’s animal welfare standards (Chapter 7.12). Working animals must be treated with consideration and must be given adequate shelter, exercise, care, food and water appropriate to their physiological and behavioural needs. Any condition that may impair their welfare must be treated promptly and, affected animals must not be worked again until they are fit. They must not be overworked or overloaded, nor must they be forced to work through ill-treatment.
Protecting animals used in scientific research
The 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty applies to the use of animals for the purposes of scientific research, education and testing. Article 26 of the law makes regulations for the treatment of animals used in scientific experiments, testing, education or the production of biological preparations. The use of animals in scientific experiments, biological testing and education is permitted only if there are no alternative non- animal methods. The law states that a list of alternative methods and objects to use instead of animals is to be developed and confirmed by the central mechanism of executive power responsible for science and education.
Experiments on animals may be carried out under a license to be granted by the ethical committee of the central mechanism of executive power responsible for science and education. Procedures on experimental animals, irrespective of their purpose, that risk causing injury to animals or extreme or prolonged pain are to be conducted using analgesics. Other provisions of the law involve prohibitions on using animals that suffer in captivity or enclosed spaces. Experiments on animals involving surgical or other harmful procedures cannot be conducted in the presence of or with the participation of children of school age.
In 2012 the Minister of Education and Science signed an order prohibiting the use of animals in laboratories in Universities.
In 2019, the Ministry of Health suggested they may submit a draft law that would ban the testing of cosmetics on animals. However, this has not yet been sent to the Ukrainian Parliament for a vote.
The website of the Ministry of Education and Science does not feature any prominent information concerning the use of animals in science and the promotion of alternatives to the use of animals by the Government. The website of the National Scientific Center for Medical and Biotechnical Research has information on work it carried out to develop general ethical standards for experiments on animals but there is no link to the standards.
Although the current legislation has taken positive steps in this area, including what appears to be an understanding of the Three Rs Principles (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement), it does not appear to be effective to make the welfare of this category of animals a mainstream concern of society.
The lack of visibility given to the use of animals in scientific research by the Ministry of Education and Science appears to be a barrier to improving welfare. The lack of implementation of the framework provided by the 2006 law through the production of secondary legislation and the introduction of procedures for implementation and enforcement also demonstrates that there are barriers to improving animal welfare.
The general anti-cruelty law enforcement mechanisms apply to this category of animals, but there do not appear to be any enforcement mechanisms specifically relating to the welfare of laboratory animals.
• The Government of Ukraine is strongly encouraged to create a national centre consisting of multiple stakeholders, including animal protection organisations, to promote the Three Rs principles (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) and to develop alternatives to animal experimentation.
• The Government of Ukraine is encouraged to create ethics committees, in charge of scrutinising applications for animal research. Such ethics committees should be able to suspend the activities or revoke the registration of establishments which do not respect animal welfare criteria. Animals used for research should be provided with shelter, care, food and water in a manner appropriate to their physiological and behavioural needs. A nominated member of the laboratory staff, preferably a veterinarian, must have full responsibility for animal welfare at all times.
• Furthermore, the Government of Ukraine is urged to ban the testing of cosmetic products and their ingredients on animals.
Protecting the welfare of wild animals
The 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty applies to wild animals, and to hunting and fishing activities. Article 20 sets out rules for the treatment of hunted animals requiring the use of equipment to bring about a quick death without suffering. It is prohibited to hunt using methods that cause mass destruction of animals, such as poisons or explosive substances. It is forbidden to hunt or capture certain categories of animals, for example, those with young incapable of living independently and out of season. The law also prohibits using animals as live bait.
Specific legislation was also introduced in 2000 to regulate game management and hunting, the Law of Ukraine on hunting grounds and hunting, 1478 N-III . Hunting may take place under permit. A variety of hunting methods is permitted, some of which will result in poor welfare for individual animals, including hunting with dogs, hunting involving firearms, and netting and trapping of live animals. Hunting of wild species is further regulated through a number of laws including ‘Regulation on issuing hunting authorisation and hunting methods’ (2000), ‘Regulation on hunting quotas set for game pertaining to state hunting fund’ (2017) and Order No. 57 of the ‘Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food validating the Instruction on selective shooting of species subject to hunting’(2014). However, translations of the Regulations and Orders were not found at the time of writing and were thus unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
Ukraine also allows hunting with dogs; however, only the breeding of such animals is further regulated. This legislation includes ‘Regulation on hunting dog breeding’ (2013) and ‘Regulation on the issuance of certificate for dogs of hunting breeds’ (2004).
Ukraine has several laws relating to the conservation and protection of wild animals, for example, the Law on Environmental Protection (1991), the Law on Wildlife (2001), ‘On the Red Data Book of Ukraine’ (2002), ‘On Immediate Arrangements in the sphere of conservation, reproduction and rational utilization of game’ (2005), ‘Regulation on the use of wild fauna species in order to obtain the products of their vital functions (2011). However, translations for the above laws were not found at the time of writing and therefore they have been unable to be assessed for the Animal Protection Index.
Ukraine is a Party to international conventions including the Bern Convention and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Council of Ministers of Ukraine adopted decision No. 1822 of 13 December 2000 regarding implementation of obligations arising from the country’s accession to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
The Government has introduced legislation aimed at conserving animals and protecting endangered species. The history of the devastation created by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster has meant the Government has given some priority to environmental protection, which includes protecting wild animals. With respect to conservation measures the Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine, the primary agency responsible for implementing environmental policy and preserving biodiversity, reports that it works with a range of institutions including other government departments, scientific research institutions and NGOs.
Ukraine acts to support CITES and to prevent illegal trade in animals. The Government reports that it cooperates with other countries and participates in international activities related to CITES.
Ukrainian hunters do appear to be aware of the regulations related to hunting and game management as these appear on some websites relating to hunting in the country.
Article 248 and 249 of the Criminal Code contain enforcement mechanisms relating to illegal hunting and fishing including fines, imprisonment and confiscation of equipment.
Article 88 of the Administrative Code details penalties for illegal import and export of certain species.
The general anti-cruelty law enforcement mechanisms also apply to this category of animals.
• The Government of Ukraine is encouraged to ban any form of hunting that does not directly support subsistence i.e. for feeding oneself and one’s family and not for commercial gain. Subsistence hunting operations must employ the least cruel methods of hunting and slaughter, and that all possible efforts should be made to reduce the time to death of animals killed in these hunts. At a minimum, the Government is strongly encouraged to forbid the use of the cruellest hunting methods.
• At a minimum, the Government of Ukraine would benefit from implementing a standardised hunting permit licence, which would be delivered after successful completion of a test by which applicants would be required to show their knowledge of hunting methods where animal suffering can be minimised. Hunters’ knowledge of species should also be assessed, so that their activities do not undermine conservation efforts.
Establishment of supportive government bodies
This goal examines government commitment to animal protection. This includes whether there is allocation of responsibility, accountability and resources within government to protect animals.
Government accountability for animal welfare
Articles 27 to 32 of the 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty specify the executive powers responsible for implementation of the law.
Article 27 makes the Cabinet of Ministers responsible for ensuring fulfilment of state policy in the sphere of animal protection including checking that legislation on the protection of animals from cruelty is observed, establishing national norms in the sphere of animal protection, propagating humane treatment of animals and developing educational programmes on conservation and the protection of animals from cruelty. Article 27 also provides that regulating the sphere of animal protection is to be carried out by the executive powers regarding protection of the natural environment, agricultural policy, veterinary medicine and science and education.
Article 29 to 31 relate to the responsibilities of the executive powers designated in Article 27, for example, the central legal mechanism for the natural environment is responsible for granting licenses for setting up zoos and facilitating the work of voluntary organisations in the sphere of protecting animals from cruelty, and responsibilities of the central legal mechanism for science and education include establishing procedures for carrying out experiments on animals.
No individual within the Cabinet of Ministers appears to be responsible for a national strategy to improve animal welfare.
Although legislation exists to assign responsibility for improving animal welfare there do not appear to be any mechanisms to make any of the executive powers accountable for implementing the law, for example, there is no timetable.
Some progress in introducing subordinate legislation to implement aspects of the 2006 law has been made. For example, in July 2010 the Cabinet of Ministers approved a list of nine legal acts on the protection of animals from cruelty developed by various responsible Ministries since 2006, for example, an Order of the Ministry of the Environment “On approval of the keeping and breeding of wild animals in a state of captivity or semi-captivity”. In 2013 the Prime Minister made a public announcement calling for humane treatment of animals and advising that a number of ministries were being ordered to work together to develop a solution to the issue of stray animals and to report monthly on progress. However, no evidence was found to suggest the national government has taken steps to improve animal welfare.
With respect to resources, there is evidence that the government has made some resources available in the past, for example, legislation produced by Kiev on a stray control programme includes a detailed budget. Press reports also refer to resources having been made available for initiatives. However it is disappointing that the investment of government funding in animal protection appears to date to have yielded low results. For example, animal protection organisations have criticised the government for its failure to solve the problem of stray animals and dangerous dogs despite very significant spending in this area.
Since the previous iteration of the Animal Protection Index, the Ukrainian Government has experienced turmoil in the country which may have presented a significant barrier to progress on many legislative and governance fronts, including animal welfare. According to Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index , Ukraine has a low ranking showing that the country’s public sector has been perceived to be one of the most corrupt in Europe, which also suggests that there are significant structural barriers to improvement here. There is hope that the new Government’s strong efforts and commitment to tackle corruption, will also lead to better enforcement of animal welfare legislation.
There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.
• Responsibility for different categories of animals currently falls under multiple Ministries and Departments. The Government of Ukraine is recommended to align animal welfare for all animal species under one Ministry, with appropriate resources for research, implementation and enforcement.
Support for international animal welfare standards
This goal looks at whether the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s animal welfare standards have been incorporated into law or policy, and whether the Government is supportive of the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
OIE animal welfare standards
The OIE Animal Welfare Standards focus on transport, slaughter, production systems (beef cattle, broiler chickens, dairy cattle, pigs), stray dog population control, the use of animals in research and education, and working equids.
The 2006 Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty highlights the importance of meeting the biological and species-specific needs of animals and is therefore reflective of the guiding principles of the OIE. The 2006 law also states that experiments should not be carried out on animals if alternatives are available and therefore reflects the principles of the Three Rs. With respect to the OIE’s animal welfare standards, Ukraine has introduced framework legislation that encompasses some of the standards within its 2006 framework law, for example, with respect to transport of animals.
The current legislation does not cover some other areas addressed by the OIE’s standards, for example with respect to the welfare of beef cattle.
Ukraine is a member of the OIE and participates in OIE activities.
There is legislation regarding Ukraine’s commitments to the OIE in the sphere of animal health, for example, Order No. 464/2011 of the President of Ukraine "On Approval of Regulation on the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service of Ukraine" dated 13 April 2011. Ukraine’s actions with respect to phytosanitary measures have been acknowledged, for example, by the European Union.
In February 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers issued a press release regarding a meeting between the First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and the President of the OIE Regional Commission for Europe. The latter was reported as saying “Ukraine has done more for the OIE than the majority of the members of our organisation, which are full-fledged members of the European Union”.
The Government has introduced legislation at various levels to fulfil its commitments as an OIE member to incorporate the OIE’s guiding principles and animal welfare standards. However, much more must be done to implement the OIE’s standards, both those that have been incorporated into legislation and those that remain to be incorporated. For example, in 2012 the Ministry of Agriculture advised that there were no procedures in place in the country to assure the welfare of farm animals.
The lack of effective governance and national leadership and accountability for animal welfare presents a barrier to improvement. However, the country’s participation in OIE events may assist in overcoming some of these. In March 2012 Ukraine hosted an OIE regional seminar for National Focal Points for Animal Welfare in Kiev at which discussions took place regarding the establishment of an OIE Regional Commission for Europe to improve the implementation of animal welfare standards in Eastern Europe. This Regional Commission has now been established and presents a potential opportunity for Ukraine and other countries in the region to take steps to improve animal welfare.
The desire to access more trade markets should also provide some motivation to comply with good international animal welfare standards in particular with respect to farm animal welfare. The country has illustrated ability to comply with some animal health standards demanded by trade partners, for example, with respect to salmonella and eggs.
Whilst Ukraine does not have a comprehensive programme to implement the OIE standards, its cooperation with the OIE and membership of the OIE Regional platform on animal welfare for Europe could represent an opportunity to do so. The regional collaboration has potential to offer opportunities for Ukraine to develop effective governance procedures to implement the OIE’s animal welfare standards and to benefit from the experience of other European countries.
However the lack of effective governance and national leadership and accountability for animal welfare is a barrier to improving animal welfare, and it has been noted that Ukraine struggles with its international obligations, for example, some sources advise that Ukraine could be considered to be partially non-compliant with provisions of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, and the SPS Agreement and/or with the standards established by international standards setting bodies, as well as with internationally accepted trade practices.
There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.
• The Government of Ukraine is encouraged to implement legislation in line with OIE animal welfare standards, including enforcement mechanisms for all species to ensure a good level of animal welfare across the country.
Support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare
The Government of Ukraine has not pledged in principle support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
Note: The UDAW is a proposed formal international acknowledgement of a set of principles giving animal welfare due recognition among governments and the international community. An expression of support for the UDAW demonstrates a government’s commitment to working with the international community to improve animal welfare.
Support for the UDAW would be a first step into integrating animal protection considerations into different discussion tables, becoming a source of inspiration for decision makers interested in improving animal protection in the country. An in-principle pledge in support of the UDAW would be in line with the current Law of Ukraine on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty.
There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.
• The Government of Ukraine is encouraged to pledge in principle support for the UDAW. Support for the UDAW will likely underpin further animal protection measures.