Ukrainian animal welfare advocates have appealed to President Viktor Yanukovych with a letter on the occasion of World Animal Day expressing concern over the continuing occurrence of animal cruelty.

According to them, the law on the prevention of cruelty to animals adopted in Ukraine has not changed the situation for the better.

The local authorities continue to harass and destroy stray dogs and cats, the letter said, UKRINFORM reported.

"This information is distributed throughout the world. In the 21st century, this cruel, brutal treatment of animals, which is described in history books since the Middle Ages, can not take place. The methods that are applied to animals in Ukraine are not only rude, they are ineffective in solving the problem of stray animals. Spent taxpayers' money does not bring the desired result," reads the letter.

Despite the fact that Ukraine is a member of the Council of Europe and currently holds the Organization's presidency, and in July it signed the European Convention for the Protection of Animals, the country does not comply with the Convention, and ignores the demands of its national legislation, the authors of the letter stress.

The activists also focused on the conditions of animals at the Kyiv Zoo. "They are so bad that the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) deprived this zoo of membership in the Organization. The Kyiv Zoo is declared as one of the worst zoos in the world," they noted.

"Ukraine is a member of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), but here it also ignores the standards of this organization for the protection of animals," complain animal rights activists and ask President Yanukovych to take measures to put an end to animal cruelty.

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