What is it all about

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Geographically, Belarus is located in the heart of Europe and shares borders with Poland to the West, Ukraine to the South, Russia to the East and North and the Baltic States to the Northwest, which makes it the closest neighbour of the European Union.

The surprising thing is that very little is known to those in the EU about the critical welfare situation of pet animals.

For more than 15 years animal rights orgaisations have been trying to get government authorities attention on subjects of cruelty against animals, specifically towards barbaric and terrifying methods of dealing with homeless pets.

It has all been useless. According to local Belarusian legislative and administrative authorities, that problem does not even exist.

Not only there is no legislation for full animal protection in Belarus, but even a law concerning "Treatment of animals" does not yet exist. In the heart of Europe, animals have no rights. Volunteers who devote their lives to rescuing and fostering animals are often considered as criminals.

The only Ministry that deals with regulation of the number of domestic animals, including dogs and cats, is the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services of the Republic of Belarus.

The only piece of legislation regulating the work of this Ministry is the "Regulation of Activities of the Orgaisations to capture, kill, maintain and euthanize stray animals on the territory of the Republic of Belarus".

The main method of regulating the number of abandoned animals in the city of Minsk, and several regional centers, is trapping and euthanasia. Throughout the rest of the country, the primary method of controlling the number of abandoned animals is shooting them to death.

According to published data for 2008 from the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services 68,666 (Sixty-eight thousand six hundred sixty-six) neglected animals were captured. In Minsk, thanks to the efforts of animal rights activists, 2,500 caught and unsupervised animals found new owners.

Where are the remaining 66,000 (Sixty-six thousand) animals? Captured, shot and thrown out at the industrial animal graveyards!

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