No, this RTÉ headline on Irish funds for Ukrainian pets isn’t real

The headline and story are false
The headline and story are false Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By James Thomas
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A fake screenshot going round on social media says that the Irish government has signed off on another €150 million allocation for Ukrainian pet welfare.


A picture of a fake headline from Irish broadcaster RTÉ claims that Ireland has allocated over €100 million-worth of funding for Ukrainian pets.

It’s being shared on social media as if it were a legitimate news story, but that’s not the case.

The fake screenshot circulating on X uses RTÉ News’s logo and colour scheme and says that the Irish government has signed off on "another €150 million allocation for Ukrainian pet welfare".

However there’s no evidence whatsoever that the story is real - an internet search doesn’t yield any results, only fact-checks already debunking the story.

The Cube reached out to RTÉ News who confirmed that the story is fake and that neither the headline nor image have been used on its website.

"I can confirm that of course this is a fake post," the spokesperson said. "No pets are allowed into the National Aquatic Centre [where the header picture supposedly is from], the headline has a full stop at the end of it, the image is not ours, and of course the story itself is not true." 

Ireland has received over 106,000 Ukrainian refugees since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, according to official UN figures.

At the beginning of the conflict, Ireland did indeed allocate funds for pets travelling to the country with their Ukrainian owners, but this has since stopped.

Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine told The Cube that it has spent over €815,000 in relation to pets from Ukraine since 2022.

"This represents an increase on the previous figure of €808,131.51 reported in the media in February," it said. "The increased expenditure of €7,419.13 is due to payments processed at end-2023 which were not finalised in February. There are no further costs pending in relation to pets from Ukraine at this time."

The funds paid for measures to control the risk associated with pets arriving in Ireland from Ukraine, and to help Ukrainian refugees get their pets compliant with animal health requirements.

This included vet costs, animal identification, transport, accommodation and translation.

These funds are no longer available, the agriculture department said.

A Ukrainian soldier goes pets a cat on the frontline in the village of New York, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Monday, April 24, 2023.
A Ukrainian soldier goes pets a cat on the frontline in the village of New York, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Monday, April 24, 2023.Libkos/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

While there was some pushback, Ireland’s Tánaiste Micheál Martin has reportedly defended the money that the state spent on transporting and accommodating pets from Ukraine as "humanitarian" and "compassionate".

It was a "decent response that reflected the best of what we are as a people", he said.

Regardless, there’s no evidence that the government approved another €150 million for pet welfare in April.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth - the part of the Irish government that finds accommodation for Ukrainians - said it has no knowledge where the claim came from.

"The Government has not recently signed off on €150m to DCEDIY for Ukraine accommodation or any related costs," the department added.


It said that it stopped paying for pet-friendly accommodation in November 2022 and has since phased out paying those costs for those already in Ireland.

It added that the department had spent about €500 million in 2022 on commercial accommodation for Ukrainians fleeing war, which increased to €1.5 billion in 2023.

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