Migri to house Ukrainian refugees with pets in Riihimäki centre
The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) will accommodate Ukrainian refugees arriving in Finland along with pets at a reception centre in Riihimäki.
The reception centre operated by Kotokunta Oy will start operation by 5 April, said Migri in a press release on Saturday.
The refugee centres in Finland are now accommodating a few Ukrainian pets, such as dogs and cats and most of the pets are living in in private accommodation with their owners, said Migri.
"So far, accommodation for each cat and dog has been arranged separately. The people are not separated from their pets. However, it is not possible to bring pets to all reception centres due to allergies and facilities, for example," said Director General of Migri Jari Kähkönen in the press release.
Kähkönen also said that accommodating pets in the same reception center is the most efficient solution for both the humans and animals.
Pets will get treatment at the reception centres as per the instructions issued by the Food Authority in Finland.
The Finnish Food Authority earlier warned of the risk of possible diseases carried by pets.
Pets arriving with Ukrainian refugees should be isolated for at least 30 days. Reception centres are arranging for veterinarians to take care of the necessary vaccinations.
The food authority, however, said that pets traveling with refugees from Ukraine with their pets under force majeure circumstances.
Under these exceptional circumstances, pets traveling with their owners from Ukraine or under force majeure circumstances from Russia are authorized to enter Finland without prior application or permit.
This exception, however, does not apply to citizens of Russia and Belarus, said the Food authority in a recent release.
So far about 12,000 Ukrainian citizens applied for international protection in Finland until Friday since the Russia´s attack on Ukraine on 24 February.
The real number, however, could be higher as Ukrainians are allowed to stay in Finland for up to three months without filing any paperwork.
Close to four million people have already fled the war in Ukraine to other countries. It is estimated that about 40,000−80,000 of them will come to Finland.
Finland grants temporary protection to those fleeing the war in Ukraine and the people granted temporary protection have the right to work without any restrictions or delay as soon as they have been issued a residence permit and a residence permit card.