1 April 2022
In a joint letter to the European Commission and all Chief Veterinary Officers, Eurogroup for Animals, FOUR PAWS and Veterinarians of Europe ask for additional support to facilitate free movement of companion animals and equines to aid safe evacuations from Ukraine.
Since the start of the war, a number of organisations have stepped in to coordinate relief measures and efforts to support those affected, both people and animals.
The European Commission advised all EU member states to ease the process for non-commercial movement of companion animals into the EU territory. The swift reaction of the Commission was welcomed as an expression of European solidarity to those forced to flee without having to leave their dogs, cats and ferrets behind.
However on the ground, there is still confusion in respect of the applicable rules, with resulting practical problems in supporting the safe evacuation of companion animals and equines from Ukraine.
In the letter, the undersigned organisations called upon the European Commission and all Chief Veterinary Officers:
To develop recommended harmonised import protocols for the different types of animals applicable in all EU Member States to avoid confusion
To remove all purely administrative, non-risk-related hurdles for importing animals from Ukraine e.g. extra fees for customs, VAT, etc.
To all work together to make it possible to import animals in a safe way through the establishment of quarantine facilities e.g. for animals coming from shelters and logistic centres in the bordering countries to ensure supplies
To provide access to animal feed and veterinary care as part of the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism
The communication also urgently requested the European Commission to take the lead and organise a dedicated meeting to coordinate efforts and to help the people and animals of Ukraine.