In the run-up to the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, a number of media outlets have been reporting on the killing of stray dogs in Ukraine.
1. In 2011, the Commission stated that there had been ‘some recent signs of progress’ with regard to ‘the brutal killing of stray dogs’ in Ukraine. Does the Commission still consider that the treatment of stray dogs in Ukraine has improved?
2. Does the VP/HR distance herself from the cruel treatment of stray dogs and will she raise her objection to Ukraine regarding the violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals? According to defenders of the Association Agreement with Ukraine, the Agreement should have helped to improve animal welfare in the country and made it possible at the request of a party to have consultations between the EU and Ukraine on animal welfare (Article 68).
3. On the basis of the Association Agreement and the Commission’s promise that it would ‘carefully follow the approximation process of the Ukrainian legislation’, would the VP/HR be able to consult with Ukraine and force the country to bring an end to the killing of stray dogs? If not, should better guarantees for animal welfare not be demanded during the negotiations?
The news on the treatment of stray dogs is contradictory and hard to verify, with concern being expressed in certain media outlets and on the other hand reports that the Kyiv city administration does not and did not cull stray dogs.
On 1 August 2014, Ukraine ratified the European Convention on the protection of pet animals (CETS No 125), which is an initiative managed by the Council of Europe and to which the EU is not a party.
The European Commission has limited means of addressing this particular issue as the welfare of stray dogs is not a matter covered by the EU acquis or by the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The Commission supports the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities to achieve convergence of the Ukrainian animal welfare standards to those of the EU in the area of trade in food products of animal origin. This requirement under the Association Agreement/Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement does not extend to stray dogs and wild animals in captivity.