The Verkhovna Rada ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. The document was developed in the framework of the Council of Europe in order to ensure the protection and humane treatment of pets.

From now on, the pet owner should not only be responsible for its health and well-being, but also should provide comfortable living conditions, feed well, provide drinking water, opportunities for physical activity and take all measures to prevent its escape.

However, the document prohibits performing surgery on animals to change their appearance. Only vets have a right to euthanize animals.

In addition, children under 16 are not permitted to purchase their own animals. They need the consent of their parents or other persons performing their duties.

At the same time, the Convention offers ways to reduce the number of stray animals, conditions of their capture, keeping and euthanasia.

The document also provides the establishment of information and educational programs to raise awareness and promote the spread of knowledge among organizations and individuals, who maintain, breed and trade pets.

In this respect, ForUm has decided to ask experts how the ratification of the Convention will influence the fate of pets in Ukraine.

Volodymyr Boreiko, director of the Kyiv Ecological and Cultural Center:

- The adoption of this Convention plays no special role. It does not have any special proposals, and it is not said in the final provision that the Ukrainian legislation should be changed. But if it is not change, then nothing will happen. I would call the adoption of the European Convention for the Protection of Animal Rights as a symbolic step. In our country, the international environmental conventions and the national laws act separately. This is just a political step. It is necessary to make changes to the Administrative Code, the laws on animal protection and veterinary medicine, on environmental protection and so on. The European Convention will remain just a declaration without these amendments.

Volodymyr Domashlynets, head of the wildlife protection department of the Ecology Ministry of Ukraine:

- It is recognized that that this Convention is one of the international documents, which summarizes the European legal norms regarding maintenance and treatment of pets. The adoption of this document is a step forward.

This will contribute to the solution of the existing problems in Ukraine.

This document, as well as other international agreements, will help create a legal framework to enhance the cooperation. In particular, it will provide an opportunity to attract the experience of countries that have already joined the Convention and maybe some financial resources to solve the problems, as creation of modern animal shelters or introduction of methods of taking care of pets.

Viktoriya Samplina, dog handler:

- The paper is well written. But this document will not work in our country. In general, the Convention could change the lives of animal for the better.

Dmitry Kurylo, veterinarian:

- The law is very good. But will people perform it? I think nothing will change in practice. The animals will be treated as before. First of all, people need to become more human in order to implement the provisions of the Convention. And don’t forget the words of Exupery that "you become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

Asya Serpynska, president of the Kyiv Society for the Protection of animals, head of Hostomel shelter:

- We have been waiting a long time for this Convention. This is a great event for Ukraine. We are getting closer to the European standards in relation to our pets. But this is still on paper. Now it is necessary to implement the Convention in practice. We have many good laws, but they do not work. Ukraine has signed many conventions for the protection of birds, nature, but they are systematically violated. Therefore, we will fight, we will require the government to respect the provisions of the Convention.

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