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Animal welfare at risk as war in Ukraine continues

Animal welfare at risk as war in Ukraine continues

July 13, 2023

(Lviv, 13 July 2023) – Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers in Ukraine have become overwhelmed with rescue requests as a result of the ongoing war in the country. With the influx of wild animals in need and the continued destruction of facilities and lack of resources, it has become increasingly difficult for rescue and rehabilitation centers to apply the necessary welfare standards and practices.

IFAW is helping the facilities introduce better welfare standards for wild animals in captivity through a two-day conference in Lviv. IFAW is co-organizing the event with ICF Save Wild, the Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Center and BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr on July 13 and 14.

Through training and knowledge sharing, participants will learn best practices on the rescue and welfare of wild animals, about security approaches for staff and animals in a war situation, and about veterinary support for rehabilitation centers – also digitally, when a veterinarian cannot access the location.

“Even in the midst of war, people in my country are dedicated to rescuing animals,” says Natalia Gozak, IFAW Wildlife Rescue Officer in Ukraine. “That makes me proud, and I’m glad to be able to support wildlife rescue facilities in caring for the forgotten victims of this war through my work at IFAW.”

The conference is held at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, and as Nataliya Halayko, Head of Animal and Facility Management at the sanctuary states: “We are very happy to welcome the participants and to share our experiences in rescuing and rehabilitating brown bears.”

Dr Maryna Shkvyria, UBO CO of ICF Save Wild and LLC White Rock Bear Shelter adds: “We will provide insight into how our organization and shelter operates and how we contribute to nature conservation. We are grateful for the opportunity to discuss best practices with colleagues in the field.”

“Knowledge is essential for the success of any conservation effort. As is knowing that you are not alone in this journey. We aim to encourage the participants’ passion for wildlife conservation and strengthen the community to make a lasting impact on animal welfare in Ukraine,” concludes Dr Alona Prylutska, co-founder of the Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Center.


Press contacts

IFAW – Annelyn Close –, +31 6 3900 8592
ICF Save Wild – Maryna Shkvyria -, +380 67 501 2495
Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Center – Alona Prylutska -, +380 96 591 1624
BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr – Olya Fedoriv -, +380 63 840 6408