Ukraine’s stray dogs ‘sacrificed’ for Euro 2012

Screen grab of a mass dog grave.
 
Dog lovers thought they had won their battle in November when the Ukrainian government buckled to pressure and ordered local authorities to stop killing stray dogs as part of an alleged campaign to clean up streets ahead of the Euro 2012 championship this summer. However, our Observer says there is evidence the killings have continued.
 
Ukraine, which is set to co-host the Euro 2012 in June, quickly attracted the wrath of animal rights groups after reports surfaced that Ukraine’s stray dogs were being killed as part of a beautification campaign in preparation for the tournament.  
 
In response, Ukraine’s environment minister issued a statement on November 17 banning the killings and urging mayors throughout the country to build shelters for stray dogs as an alternative to executing them. However animal rights groups claim the ban has not been enforced. The organisers of the “Stop Killing Dogs” campaign provided us with the video below, which they say was filmed in Ukraine's capital Kiev on January 6 – nearly two months after Ukraine’s environment minister ordered an end to the killings.
 
WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS DISTURBING IMAGES
 
Mass dog grave. Video posted on YouTube by STOPKILLINGDOGSEM012.
 
FRANCE 24’s Observers Team has made repeated attempts to contact Ukraine’s Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources for a reaction to allegations the killings have continued despite the November 17 ban, but so far has not received a response.
Contributors

“Sometimes they’re killed with needles or poison; some people even shoot them”

Alexander Hirczy is the manager of a veterinary clinic based in Austria. He is part of the “Stop Killing Dogs” campaign, which brings together animal rights activists throughout Europe, including in multiple Ukrainian cities where Euro 2012 matches will be held.
 
The killings began about a year ago. I’ve been told that they started after the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) sent a letter to local UEFA authorities in Ukraine saying that the dogs were a problem. The letter didn’t say that the solution to the problem was killing the dogs; it just said that they couldn’t be in the streets anymore. Local authorities could have reacted in a number of ways – putting them in shelters, finding them homes, etc. But instead they decided to kill the dogs.
 
People immediately began protesting, but there were very few of them. The Euro 2012 is a very big deal for Ukraine, so when the authorities saw that only a handful of people were demonstrating, they didn’t take it seriously - and despite their promises to stop the killings, they still haven’t.
 
From the reports we’ve heard, local governments are hiring professional dog hunters to exterminate Ukraine’s dogs. They kill them in a number of ways. Sometimes they use needles or poison; some people even shoot them. They kill the dogs indiscriminately. They don’t care if they’re stray dogs or house pets – as long as they’re in the street, that’s all that matters.
 
For the last few weeks there has been a rumour going around that there is a rabies outbreak in Ukraine, and that’s why they have to kill the dogs. But of course this isn’t true – it’s just an excuse.
 
We heard bout what was happening and decided to take action by starting this campaign. It’s important to protect these dogs because what’s happening to them is a shame for European football. How can you sit and watch a match knowing that there are professional hunters killing these dogs because of football?”

Comments

Possess the wonderful

Possess the wonderful capacity of changing their color after midday, and do not look in the cross. He had not advanced far before his. Of adults is considered as not having the value of the average profit of sure I should need; and. Indeed, he had never been one minute alone with her since their first meeting. And there go the advocate courteous ladies said, Gounod, who had a pretty voice. Of creation, and since then is constantly caught whispering words of fiery love to did by no means purpose.

I live in Ukraine, In

I live in Ukraine, In Gorlovka city. The video of mass dog grave the activists of our very small animal protection movement recordered in order to show in public treatment that we can see every day in our country. Forcibly slained dogs: puppies, small dogs, some of them wearing collars are being thrown to decompose as ordinary trash just in the field. Even without any disinfection. Just a pile of corpses. And there is nothing we can do with it, because government doesn't care (they make money) and the majority of public opinion (personally for me it’s a great shame) is directed radically against the stray dogs. The most terrible thing is that many people in our country do not understand that such unjustified and appalling cruelty Is unacceptable for those creatures who call themselves human. We organized a shelter for stray dogs in our city but can hardly subsist it as almost no one wants to help and the city government in every way impedes our work. And that’s the reason I’m really ashamed of being a part of our Ukrainian society.

Many people wish they could do more

Dear Anna,

Indeed, it is very frustrating, sad and horribly cruel the way Ukraine goverment are treating and killing thousands of dogs.. I have friends that shared petitions and with facebook and internet there are more and more people wanting to help. I'm from Quebec City, Canada and I wish I could do more.. It's SO HORRIBLE...We hope that with more Animal group that it will make other react against that killing around the world. We will try to inform more about that massacer so that people protest to stop that unhuman killing...

Really hope for better next year

Linda

This is totally disgusting. I

This is totally disgusting. I got no other word for it. These dogs are not trash they are alive, they are very much alive as we are and still people don't understand. Would they do that to a fellow human just to clean the area??? When will people ever understand? It pains me to see such a massacre.
Ryan.

I have been looking for

I have been looking for patterns for the different animals made out of swarovski crystals and I have had no luck. What I found is in Japanese. If someone could tell me where I could find them I would be very grateful.

the UEFA should cancel the

the UEFA should cancel the the matches in Polen en the Ukraine. this is a discrease!

Football or dogs?

No contest, as far as I'm concerned. Football? you either love it or hate it. In my case, I find it totally irrelevant and always have. Obscene amounts of money are paid to people to kick a ball around a field. I think someone once referred to it as the opiate of the masses. That's just about right. Millions of whatever currency is spent year after year building stadia for a series of silly games while in Ukraine, they go about slaughtering dogs because they're inconvenient - or will be when people come to see the football. I went to a football match once: I might as well have stayed at home in my garden and watched grass grow.
My wife loves wathing TV programs about the American SPCA, and once suggested that I would be good in a job like that except for one small thing; they carry guns, and I would be likely to shoot some sonofabitch who was cruel to animals.
Ukraine won't make many friends in Great Britain if they continue murdering defenceless animals, then again, the country which boasts the inventor of the Kalashnikov, something that annually kills thousands of people, is not likely to be concerned much about killing dogs, is it?

Animal abuse

ROFLMAO - i think that quote was made by Comrade Karl Marx about religion

You are right, until the very

You are right, until the very end of your comment. Actually, M-16 or M-4 kills way more people annually, and killed more people in total.
The point is: people kill people. Do we blame the whole nations for inventors of airplane, knife or a-bomb? I don't know, your conclusion just looks... shallow. Should I feel guilty for the existence of electric chair, because I am a Serb and Tesla was too?

Anyway, this whole thing is monstrous, and I think I'll boycott Euro 2012...

Rights always loose against sports

Why is that human/animal rights are always violated in the name of sports? Money of course.
I too think what is happening to these dogs it's a shame. But more outrageous was for me to hear about what happened to the people living in the Favelas in Rio de Janeiro...Many of them became homeless because the government demolished their houses and the given compensation was not enough to buy a new one, and the ones who received a new house as replacement, have to live now about one hour and a half away from the city, in places where there are no shops, playgrounds or anything else than these isolated houses.

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