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REGIONAL LEGAL MECHANISM OF REGULATION OF THE PROTECTION OF PET ANIMALS
Юридичний вісник



УДК 351.765.4+341.17+341.176(4)

N. Zubchenko,

Applicant at the Department of International Law and International Relations National University “Odessa Law Academy”

In today’s world order conditions, the regulation of various public relations can be characterized by a multi-leveling. This trend is a characteristic for both legal and non-legal forms of regulation, for the old areas and new areas. The area of the treatment with animals, and in particular their protection, isn’t an exception.

At the global level in this area there is a number of international non­governmental organizations, and in their framework documents on the protection of animals are adopted. The second level is regional. At this level, there is a number of international agreements on the treatment with animals. The most advanced in this respect is the Law of the Council of Europe and the European Union Law. The third, the national (domestic) level features a large variety of approaches, because there is no any unified practice of States on the treatment with animals and on the protection them from abuse.

At the regional level, as mentioned above, the most developed is the system of protection of animals in Europe. In Europe, there are several levels of legal regulation — at the level of supranational institutions, which is the European Union, and at the level of international organizations with specific objectives — the Council of Europe, as well as directly to the national legislation of European countries, which in turn forms the third level of regulation. All elements are in interaction and mutual influence on each other.

The Council of Europe in the field of the protection of animals dates back to the 60s of the twentieth century, when it was first initiated the creation of international agreements relating to the welfare of animals. In the period from 1965 to 1990 five major conventions for the protection of animals (European Convention for the Protection of Animals during International Transport of 1968 (revised in 2003) [1], the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming 1976 [2], the European Convention for the Protection of vertebrates animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes in 1986 [3], the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals 1987 [4]) were formulated and entered into force. Conventions have been developed on the basis of scientific and practical experience in the field of animal welfare and with the views of observers — charities, veterinary organizations, farmers’ organizations. Conventions are aimed at ensuring secure unified standards of animal welfare in the member states of the Council of Europe. In turn, these agreements have become the basis of European Union law on animal welfare [5].

The competence of the Council of Europe in the field of animal protection is related to the need for concerted action by all the European institutions that recognize the protection of animals as one of the important political issues, and also to the need to recognize the existence of the principle of respect for the animals, which have become an integral part of the general policy of the European states [6, 568].

These conventions of the Council of Europe based on the anthropological approach, focused on the fact that “for his own well-being, a person may, and sometimes must use animals, but he has a moral obligation to provide in reasonable frames, animal health and welfare, and in each particular case not to make them subjects to excessive risk. “Most member states of the Council of Europe have signed these conventions, expressing their support for the policy of the Council of Europe with regard to animal welfare” [7].

Each of these documents is a set of rules that define the conditions and rules for the treatment of animals in some areas. At the same time, all this Conventions, include the provisions about pet animals.

The European Convention for the Protection of Animals during International Transport 1968 defines the general conditions of the international transport of animals, preparing them for transportation, vehicle requirements, the degree of comfort for the transport of animals, requirements for veterinary inspection, certification and detailing the conditions of carriage of certain types of transport — road, by sea and rail.

The European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming purposes 1976 is the framework convention defining principles of maintenaning, care and placement of animals, including the intensive breeding of animals. For each species, there are guidelines for the content produced by the Commission on the application of the Convention [8].

The European Convention for the Protection of vertebrate animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes 1986 defines the conditions of detention, placement of animals, the nature of the experiments, controlling the breeding, training, and reporting and statistics. The Convention includes two applications with a technical nature regarding the details of the conditions of treatment with animals and the compilation of statistics.

The European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals 1987 contains common basic standards of treatment of pet animals ownership, the provisions on the protection of animals from abuse, the order of creation and maintenance of shelters for the stray and abandoned animals, the procedure for the acquisition of animals and their content. The Convention establishes some rules for buying and selling animals, depending on their type and origin, as well as the features of the regulation of stray animals.

The particular importance to approach the standards of civilized treatment of animals has has the participation of post­Soviet states-members of the Council of Europe in the conventions, where neither on the political nor on the moral and ethical nor on the legal level there are not adequately reflection of the European principles of respect for animals. Generalized data on the extent of their participation in the post-Soviet states to the conventions listed in the table.



State

The European Convention for the Protection of Animals during International Transport 1968

European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming purposes 1976

The European Convention for the Protection of vertebrate animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes 1986

European

Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals 1987

1.

Azerbaijan

Signed 22.10.2003 Ratified 19.10.2007 Entered into force01.05.2008

2.

Armenia

3.

Georgia

4.

Latvia

Signed 19.09.2006 Ratified 05.06.2007 Entered into force06.12.2007

Signed 17.11.2009 Ratified 05.10.2010 Entered into force01.05.2011

Signed 01.03.2010 Ratified22.10.2010 Entered into force01.05.2011

5.

Lithuania

Signed 11.09.2003 Ratified 02.03.2004 Entered into force03.09.2004

Signed 13.09.2005 Ratified 14.06.2007 Entered into force01.01.2008

Signed 11.09.2003 Ratified 19.05.2004 Entered into force01.12.2004

6.

Moldova

7.

Russian

Federation

Signed

Ratified 13.11.1990 Entered into force14.05.1991

8.

Ukraine

Signed 05.07.2011 Ratified

Entered into force

9.

Estonia

Signed 01.04.2008 Ratified

Entered into force

Signed 01.04.2008 Ratified

Entered into force



Thus, Conventions for the Protection of Animals, approved by the Council of Europe, have become the first internation­al agreements to provide the mandatory ethical principle of respect for the animals and set standards for their transportation, breeding and killing of animals, as well as their use for experiments or home de­

 

Tention. These conventions are used in almost all the states of the Council of Europe as a basic document for the de­velopment of national legislation [9, 124]. However, in respect of post-Soviet states should be noted that, despite the signi - tion and ratification of the convention on the protection of animals, their positions poorly implemented into the national leg­islation and are characterized by a low degree of implementation. One of the so­lutions could be the creation of working groups to implement the provisions of the Conventions to the legislation of each of the states.

In the most concentrated and com­plete form the provisions for the humane treatment with pets and protection them from abuse embodied in the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Ani­mals 1987.

The draft of Convention for the Protec­tion of Pet Animals was represented to the Special Commission for the Protec­tion of Animals on June 6, 1986 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Committee of Ministers ap­proved the draft on May 26, 1987. On the 13th of November 1987 European Conven­tion on the Protection of Pet Animals was opened for signature. The immediate aim of the Convention in 1987 is to protect the animals, their rights and needs [10]. However, some of its provisions (eg, sec­tion 9 of the Preamble, etc.) at the same time directed to the protection of human life and health.

The Convention is an instrument of influence on the specific kind of social relations — relations of individuals and society arising from the content of the treatment with pet animals, the relations to the manner of their content, the rights to them, etc. This feature determines the direction of operation of the rules of the Convention and its nature. In particular, we should pay attention to the fact that the Convention, although it is aimed pri­marily at protecting animals from abuse, nevertheless contains a large number of rules on the treatment with animals, their keeping and breeding, commercial trans­actions, etc. etc. However, it should be noted that the provisions of the Conven­tion is complemented by other interna­tional instruments, and the first acts of the EU.

The Convention defines and develops the basic provisions that make up the for­mula of “man has a moral obligation to respect all living creatures,” and contrib­utes to the formation of relationships that ensure humane coexistence of humans and animals, including:

1. Formation of the relevant public con­sciousness, the development of persistent attitudes and stereotypes of behavior, the development of scientific concepts, social movements for the protection of animals;

2. Creation of a specific regulatory components, including morality, religion, customs, and law for the protection of animals;

3. An institutional component, both in the form of state and municipal institu­tions, as well as a large number of NGOs in the field of animal protection.

General obligations of State parties to the Convention set forth in Art. 2 of the Convention, according to which the Parties undertake to adopt measures for the implementation of its provisions in re­spect of: A. pets contained by private or official persons in the household, or any institution for trade, commercial breeding and housing, as well as in animal shel­ters. B. The same applies to the stray animals.

Parties may take more stronger mea­sures to protect animals. It should be noted that the general obligations of the Parties to the Convention must be consid­ered together with the specific obligations listed in separate articles of the Conven­tion, the principles and objectives of the Convention, as well as the implementa­tion mechanism of the Convention.

We should also point out on the spe­cific obligations of States that they take in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. This is the commitment to the rights and obligations of persons hav­ing pets, such as: the regulation of the acquisition and maintenance of the ani­mal, dog training, breeding and commer­cial pet trade, protection of well-being and health of domestic animals — the order of the shows and other entertainment events for pets, holding surgical procedures and euthanasia.

However, the mechanism for the im­plementation of the Convention leaves its mark by a stipulation regarding the man­datory aspects of specific commitments:

A. The need for training of animals for any commercial purposes or for competi­tion is carried out by persons with appro­priate knowledge and skills;

B. the need to prevent:

— The transfer of animals to persons under the age of 16 without the consent of their parents or legal guardians;

— The awarding of pets as prizes, awards or prizes;

— Unplanned breeding of domestic animals;

C. potential negative consequences for the health and normal life of wild animals, if they were acquired or kept as pets;

D. risk of irresponsible acquisition of pet, leading to an increase in the number of abandoned animals [4].

It should be noted that the wording of the provisions of the Convention are not directly prescriptive, but merely describe the general mechanism of action. For ex­ample, the Convention provides the pro­cedure for the establishment of shelters for animals [4] as one of the most impor­tant ways to protect the stray animals, but the detailing of this order lies with the national legislation of each Party to the Convention.

The Convention enshrines the prin­ciples of animal welfare (art. 3) — not causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury and the prohibition to leave the animal. This provision directly affects the adoption of national legislation on animal welfare, which details the principle of ani­mal welfare and provides a mechanism for the immediate implementation of its in a particular state. The same obligation should also include a determination that any person having a pet should give it a place of residence, care, taking into ac­count the natural needs of the animal (Ar­ticle 4), that is, immediately implement the principle of animal welfare [10, 8].

Of particular interest (in the context of the situation in Ukraine) Articles 12 and 13 provide for measures to protect stray animals. These standards provide the legal basis for a set of measures to re­duce the number of stray animals and the conditions for ensuring the identification of these animals. These provisions of the Convention among the first to get their application, as in some European coun­tries, the trend in the appearance of stray animals and their uncontrolled prolifera­tion. That is why measures to regulate the number of homeless animals among the first to have details in the national law of the Member States of the Convention.

The key moment was the entry for Ukraine into the Council of Europe — af­ter this event the revision of existing leg­islation was required, including legislation on the protection of animals. This was due to the establishment of a democrat­ic course of Ukraine and the necessary changes in public policy to comply with the standards of the Council of Europe.

Ukraine was one of the last states that have adopted its own legislation on the protection of animals — the Law of Ukraine “On Protection of Cruelty to An­imals” [11]. The law was the first step towards the establishment of a humane society in Ukraine and legislation. This is one of the first steps on the road to Eu­ropean integration, the main content of which should be not only the legal and in­stitutional components, but also a change of mentality. The Law of Ukraine “On Protection of Cruelty to Animals” should be considered as a kind of intermediate transition from no acts regulating the treatment of animals to bring Ukrainian legislation to European standards. Adop­tion of the law reflected a qualitative shift, when the problem of protecting animals from cruelty, moved to the category of socially significant.

Keywords: conventions of Council of Europe, regional level of regulation, protection of pet animals, cruelty.

Стаття присвячена розгляду ре­гіонального механізму регламентації захисту домашніх тварин на при­кладі Ради Європи. Описані основні конвенційні документи щодо захисту домашніх тварин. Досліджено участь України у діяльності Ради Європи по захисту тварин.

Статья посвящена рассмотрению регионального механизма регламен­тации защиты домашних животных на примере Совета Европы. Описаны основные конвенционные документы относительно защиты домашних жи­вотных. Рассмотрено участие Укра­ины в деятельности Совета Европы по защите животных.

The article dedicated to the regional regulatory mechanism of the protection of pet animals on the example of Coun­cil of Europe. The main Conventional instruments for the protection of pet animals highlighted. The participation of Ukraine in the activity of Council of Europe in the field of protection of pet animals researched.

Literature

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11. Про захист тварин від жорстокого поводження : Закон України від 21 лют. 2006 № 3447-IV // Відомості Верховної Ради. — 2006. — № 27. — Ст. 230.