Britain provided refuge to almost 3000 pets from Ukraine

The British authorities deserve the praise that they are receiving from a Ukrainian bestselling author, Andrev Kurkov, for allowing Ukrainian refugees to bring their pets with them when fleeing their country after Putin’s invasion. This was a gift from the British authorities because Britain has been rabies free for more than a hundred years while rabies is present in Ukraine. In fact, rabid dogs are commonly found in that country and it’s getting worse thanks to the war.

Tabby cat refugee
Tabby cat refugee. In fact this cat was probably with their owner in a safe place. I don’t know if they fled to the UK of other European country but it is a nice picture of a domesticn cat suffering the burden of survival in this ghastly war. I have assumed that the picture is in the public domain.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Britain is a country of animal lovers and the authorities recognised the fact that Ukrainians often regard their companion animals as family members as is the case in many other countries and therefore many would not leave their homes and escape to safety in the West or western Ukraine unless they were allowed to bring their companion animals with them.

RELATED: Some Ukrainian refugees to the UK smuggled in cats and dogs.

Andrev Kurkov illustrates this with a story about a “very old woman from Donbass who agreed to be evacuated under shelling only with her rooster. Nobody complained and she got to Western Ukraine where she and her rooster are living now.” He added that, “For Ukrainians, it is extremely important that the UK allows refugees to bring their pets. It means these people are much more stable psychologically. Because a pet is a member of the family in Ukraine, and you don’t leave members of your family behind.”

That sentiment, as mentioned, is present in probably nearly all countries and therefore it was very sensible for Defra, in the UK, to allow pets and owners to come together. A Defra spokesman said, “As a nation of animal lovers, we know the important role pets can play in our daily lives.”

Defra provided an emergency licence to people fleeing Ukraine to allow them to bring their pets to the UK. Quarantine and vaccination costs were met by the UK government.

The UK issued a total of 257,600 visas to Ukrainians as part of its support. This visa scheme closed in February. The UK pet scheme paid for quarantine costs, micro-chipping in vaccinations for the animals and kept Britain free from rabies.

On vaccinations, Britain spent more than £28,000. On microchips the cost was little over £1000 and on “African quarantine costs” the cost was around £1.5 million. That’s according to The Telegraph newspaper who obtained the information from a Freedom of Information request.

A little over 1500 dogs were brought into the UK under this scheme, 1300 cats benefited and two ferrets; all of which made the journey from Ukraine.

There were also 18 hamsters, one gerbil, nine chinchillas, seven birds, 15 guinea pigs, 17 rats and 17 rabbits. Four animals were of an unknown species! 🙄

35 Ukrainian pets travelled to Northern Ireland where almost £140,000 was spent under the scheme.

RELATED: Grandma walks miles to get a bag of food for her cat (Ukraine).

The scheme reminds me of the importance of remembering the animals in this war. They are family members and they are dying in huge numbers as are wild animals in Ukraine. A recent article I wrote about the massacre of wildlife by Putin’s invaders is extremely troubling. Many thousands of dolphins have been killed as Putin’s forces occupied a nature reserve. Hundreds of thousands of domestic animals have been killed in this war. We must think of them.

Many domestic cats are now feral and many dogs are now stray dogs. They are scavenging among the ruins. Sometimes a kind person looks after them. There is one example of a young woman whose domestic cat became feral and she looked after the feral cat. That’s an amazing little story.

Many cats and dogs have helped Ukrainian soldiers in the front-line trenches to make their lives a little bit more bearable; to keep down the rodent population and for the dogs, to warn of strange noises which might signal enemy movements. These companion animals are providing a service to the soldiers as well as companionship. Their lives are being risked just like the lives of the soldiers.

From Reddit

Siberian Battalion: “On the 10th of May, in Kharkiv Oblast, one of the first enemy groups was met by our battalion. They approached with their flashlights on, suspecting nothing. One of them said ‘Volodya, turn off the light’ – as a result, we turned off Volodya & most of the enemy group”
byu/MicrowaveBurns inUkraineWarVideoReport

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