On June 1, animal rights activists picketed the Kharkiv city council, requiring changes in the practices of the Municipal Company “Animal Care Center,” where, according to protestors, mass euthanasia on animals is performed.
Several dozen animal rights activists, representatives of NGOs and political parties were holding posters that say: “Sterilization – yes, murder – no,” “Deputies, save animals and budget money,” “Death behind a nice facade,” “Stop killing animals at the expense of communities,” ” Not everyone can be a mayor, but every mayor should be a human.” Some protestors brought their pets to the action.
The activists believe that more than 100,000 animals caught within the city limits have been killed in 10 years of the enterprise’s operation. The protestors demanded the dismissal of the center’s director and a change in its work principles – not to euthanize but sterilize and return the animals to the areas they’ve been caught in, as well as to improve the conditions for keeping animals in the municipal shelter.
According to Olena Chorna, the head of the animal protection department of the “Social and Legal Protection” NGO, stray cats and dogs from other cities are being brought to Kharkiv, they are allegedly promised to be returned, but it is not really happening.
“In 2020, 65 tons of animal corpses were sent to the veterinary and sanitary plant in Kupiansk, Kharkiv region. They were caught not only in Kharkiv but were brought from Kharkiv region and eastern Ukraine. Contracts are concluded with heads of village and city councils for clipping, sterilization, medical treatment and returning of animals to the areas they’ve been caught in. But actually, no one returns them to habitat. They are brought to Kharkiv, immediately murdered and then go for disposal. The center’s director Yulia Tsybulko assures us that there is no mass euthanasia, then where does this deadweight come from? Where do these animals that come to Kharkiv go?” Olena Chorna tells.
Olha came to the action with her pets Dolly and Cookie. She often saw the center’s animal-catching vans on the streets.
“I want to shout all over the country, all over the world as the city can’t hear us: stray animals and pets that are left unattended are caught and killed. When we see an animal-catching van on the street, we just go up to it and say: “If you don’t leave now, we will call the police,” informs Olha.
The protestors were supported by some city council members who believe it is necessary to conduct an audit of the center, create a supervisory board, introduce mass sterilization and vaccination.
Text: Natalia Ivanova