Skip to main content

10 important changes to the legislation on animal protection

How the laws and other regulations in Ukraine provides detailed ways and mechanisms to resolve such problems.

Legal regulation is one of the most important aspects in solving the problem of stray animals, i.e. the laws and other instruments in Ukraine foreseeing the ways of solving this problem in detail. Unfortunately, the laws of Ukraine on prevention of cruelty to animals and especially to stray animals have numerous drawbacks and loopholes. That is why the lawyers from Spector Law Firm prepared top-10 changes which, in their opinion, should be implemented in black and white.


  • Extend the scope of concepts and definitions. In particular, basic law with regard to the above-mentioned problems - the Law of Ukraine "On the cruelty to animals" (hereinafter called the Law), does not contain  such concepts as "animals under the care", "animal owner", "guardian of the animal", "catch of the animals "," regulation of animal population ", etc., which are key to solving the problem of stray animals.


  • Specification of the concept of "cruelty to animals." Except the name of the law, the concept of cruelty to animals exists in the law only as a small definition. It is expedient to provide more concrete definitions and to add a non-exhaustive list of actions that can be treated as "cruelty ".


  • Legalization of the so-called "mini-shelters" for animals. As the law currently contains serious and complex requirements for animal shelters, most private shelters actually work illegally. There should be specified the opportunities to create "mini-shelters" and "places of animals' temporary stay", for which the requirements for organization and management of four-footed friends will be considerably simplified.


  • Allow private organisations catch of the animals. As nowadays only municipal services can deal with the catch, due to lack of funds and many other factors, such work is done poorly; sometimes it is not done at all. By setting clear requirements for organisations that will deal with catches, laying out the specifics of the procedure and conditions of such a catch, quality of such activities will increase significantly.


  • Specify the registration procedure of pets. Today registration is made only in a few big cities in Ukraine thanks to the activities of local government and community initiatives. Therefore, it is reasonable to create a national registration system for pets for the purpose of veterinary checks, facilitation of obtaining approvals for the transportation of animals and facilitation of finding lost animals procedure.


  • Adopt. Common rules for animal management in the cities of Ukraine at the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and require local authorities to pass such acts in each administrative-territorial unit taking into consideration the specific features of the region. However, cancel existing local rules of animal management that sometimes contain absurd regulations and terminate the rules of animal management adopted during the Soviet times that are currently in force, although which are irrelevant.


  • Provide methods for regulation of animal numbers. Today there is the scheme in operation under the Law that consists in “sterilization if possible or euthanasia if impossible". Taking into consideration the budget deficit for sterilization, service in charge resort to inhumane method such as mercy killing. However, the European experience shows that there are many other ways to regulate the number namely "places of stay reduction", "feeding grounds reduction" etc., the implementation of prevention methods such as the "fight against mass animal rearing”.


  • Protection of public morals. The law of Ukraine currently in force "On Protection of Public Morals”. However, this list does not contain "cruelty to animals" or "very severe forms of cruelty to animals" which need to be introduced in the aforementioned regulation.
  • Providing pet with the status of "civil rights subject with a special status." Today under the laws of Ukraine, the animals are things or property. In some countries (England, the USA), the animal is subject to civil law which has rights and obligations and can enter legal relations. However, such subjects are given "special" volume of legal capacity - they are equated with not having legal capacity or having limited legal capacity, i.e. they are appointed with the guardian who commits transactions exclusively on their behalf and in their interests. This is atypical for Ukraine, but its implementation and implementation of the aforementioned changes can make Ukraine an example in terms of legislative regulation on animals’ protection and solving the problems of stray animals.