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War in Ukraine

IAABC Position Statement

War in Ukraine

The IAABC opposes the Russian Federation’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and stands with our Ukrainian members in support. We strongly condemn the collective trauma that has been inflicted on both people and animals by the state of war.
This matter is not a political issue outside the bounds of animal behavior practitioners’ concerns, but a globally relevant humanitarian crisis (Roy et al., 2022). We are proud to support the victims of warfare by waiving membership fees for those affected, assisting the IAABC Foundation in donation drives, publicizing the impact of the war on animals in Ukraine, and highlighting the heroic efforts of the people who stayed behind - or ventured back into a combat zone - to help the helpless.
The degree of tragedy is almost unimaginable. Thousands of civilians have been killed (United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2022) and over 12 million people have been displaced (UN Security Council, 2022). Many refugees have fled with their beloved pets - dogs, cats, parrots, chickens, horses, cows, hamsters, and more (Mak, 2022) - all forced from their homes into uncertainty. Neighboring countries have opened their arms and eased strict laws to allow families to stay together (International Fund for Animal Welfare, 2022). However, complex and varying regulations as well as limits on the number of animals make the process burdensome and stressful (Jordan, 2022).
Back home in Ukraine, animals of all species are struggling to survive in war-torn urban environments after apocalyptic bombings (Polityuk & Zinets, 2022) and other military aggression (Anna, 2022). Caretakers struggle to return to captive animals in zoos and shelters (Loveluck et al., 2022) (Moya, 2022). Animals have even been direct targets of Russian military attack; Mykolayiv Zoo was shelled, (Shah, 2022) and stables in Hostomel burned down with horses inside (Campbell, 2022). Rescuers risk their lives daily to transport animals to safety, and some of these animal rescuers too have become casualties of war (CBS News, 2022) (Burke, 2022).
The war continues, and we must all decide. Decide whether to carry on with our lives as usual, or to accept the reality of this war as a global responsibility. The IAABC positions itself as an active participant in the international sphere and therefore continues to stand on the side of Ukraine. We support the humane treatment of all, human and animal alike.
Due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, the U.S. has enacted an unprecedented level of sanctions directed at the Russian Federation. At this time, we have added the Russian Federation to our list of excluded countries under our Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Compliance Policy and are no longer accepting membership applications, credentialing applications, or membership renewals from residents of the Russian Federation. It is with great consideration that we make this decision, and we will continue to monitor the situation until such a time as we may remove these conditions.
IAABC Board of Directors 6.5.2022


Anna, C. (2022, April 10). War Crimes Watch: A devastating walk through Bucha's horror. AP News. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-europe-war-crimes-7791e247ce7087dddf64 a2bbdcc5b888
Burke, D. (2022, April 20). Anger as two 'wonderful and courageous' zookeepers 'murdered by Russian troops'. The Mirror. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/anger-two-wonderful-courageous-zookeep ers-26758805
Campbell, J. (2022, April 1). Equestrians race to save horses abandoned in Ukraine warzones. Reuters. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.reuters.com/world/equestrians-race-save-horses-abandoned-ukraine-warz ones-2022-04-01/
CBS News. (2022, March 6). Anastasiia Yalanskaya killed while bringing food to dog shelter in Ukraine. CBSNews.com. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.cbsnews.com/video/anastasiia-yalanskaya-killed-while-bringing-food-to-dog-shelter-in-ukraine/
International Fund for Animal Welfare. (2022, April 21). helpful information for people fleeing Ukraine with their pets. International Fund for Animal Welfare. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://www.ifaw.org/news/resources-flee-ukraine-pets
Jordan, M. (2022, April 15). Ukrainians Face New Hurdle at U.S. Border: No Dogs. The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.nytimes.com/2022/04/14/us/ukrainian-refugees-dogs-us-border.html?fbcli d=IwAR2xnnSGnWkai7b4TRJs4A7t1fVcZQ4BE78jnBhPyG_m-Ud2mCDPe8Qf26g
Loveluck, L., Khudov, K., Koh, J., & Levine, H. (2022, April 25). A shelter in Ukraine saved hundreds of cats and dogs – and a lion – Auto News. Washington Post. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/26/ukraine-kyiv-animal-shelter-saves -pets/
 Mak, T. (2022, March 27). Some Ukrainians fled with their pets. Others are stepping in to care for the rest. NPR. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.npr.org/2022/03/27/1089047759/some-ukrainians-fled-with-their-pets-o thers-are-stepping-in-to-care-for-the-rest
Moya, M. J. (2022, April 6). Dogs starved to death in Ukraine animal shelter. USA Today. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2022/04/06/dogs-starved-death-ukraine/ 9482096002/
Polityuk, P., & Zinets, N. (2022, April 21). Explainer: Mariupol, the ruined port city that Russia says it has "liberated". Reuters. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.reuters.com/world/europe/mariupol-ruined-port-city-that-russia-says-it-ha s-liberated-2022-04-21/
Roy, D., Auth, K., & Moss, T. (2022, 3 25). The Russia-Ukraine War: How Bad Is the Humanitarian Crisis? Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.cfr.org/in-brief/ukraine-humanitarian-crisis-refugees-aid
Shah, F. (2022, March 18). Ukrainian zookeeper who braved bombing to look after animals pleads for help. The Independent. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ukraine-zoo-russia-b2038954.html
United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2022, April 3). Ukraine: civilian casualty update 3 April 2022.
UN Human Rights Office. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.ohchr.org/en/news/2022/04/ukraine-civilian-casualty-update-3-april-2022
UN Security Council. (2022, April 19). Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine Deteriorating at Alarming Speed, Briefers Tell Security Council, Calling for Attacks on Civilians to Stop | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases. The United Nations. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https: //www.un.org/press/en/2022/sc14865.doc.htm
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