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Killing of stray dogs in Ukraine

Killing of stray dogs in Ukraine

For months, the animal rights groups denounced the "massacre" at work in Ukraine. At least one hundred days of the start of the Euro 2012 football championship, the authorities seek to get rid of thousands of stray dogs living in the streets of Ukrainian cities. Theoretically, the animals are transported in kennels then sterilized, but in fact, the associations argue that these animals are slaughtered.

From our correspondent in Kiev

The images have been around the world and triggered a wave of indignation in Ukraine. A few months ago, the municipality of the city of Lysychansk in Lugansk region, proudly explained his way of eliminating stray animals: a traveling furnace to incinerate dogs of streets. The petitions of protest were quick to bloom on the Internet, the largest of them involving more than 500,000 signatures. But despite the mobilization, the problem persists. Less than a hundred days of Euro 2012, the Ukrainian authorities want to get rid of animals likely to annoy tourists. "Officially, dogs are collected in shelters, then sterilized," says Tamara Tarnawska, the director of the association of SOS animal rights, "but in reality, they are poisoned or beaten to death." According to some organizations, 8,000 dogs live in the streets of Kiev.

No grant for advocacy groups of stray dogs

In the village of Pirogovo, a few kilometers south of the Ukrainian capital, a wall surrounds some buildings from which there is a chorus of barking. The SOS receives over one thousand animals that survive in difficult conditions. Missing money, grants are scarce and the center survives only through the work of volunteers. Last September, Mykola Zlochevskiy, the Ukrainian Environment Minister, promised 600,000 euros to double the capacity of the kennel, but the money never arrived. "We do not receive a penny from the city of Kiev, as we denounce the killings," Says Tamara Tarnawska that is angry, "we must rely on support from foreign organizations."

UEFA mobilized against the massacre

Under pressure from civil society and international organizations, UEFA has asked the Ukrainian authorities to stop the massacres. On 17 November, the government banned the executions, urging municipalities to build shelters for stray dogs. The authorities have even planned to allocate € 3 million to build 200 new shelters throughout Ukraine. "Despite these statements of intent, the killings continue," said the journalist Victoria Svetlova, actively campaigning for animal rights, "Poison an animal with rat poison, costs 25 cents, transporting and sterilizing a dog costs 40 euros, municipal services are switching to the first option and pocket the difference. Yet there is enough money to do a good job, last year, the municipality had a budget of 1.2 million to fix the problem. "

The Austrian organization "Four Paws" plans to install six mobile clinics to 50 000 euros each to sterilize animals on the street in four Ukrainian cities that will host Euro 2012. "We are negotiating with the municipalities," said Amir Khalil, the project director, "through football, international pressure has increased on the authorities. I am optimistic, I think they will soon be ready to cooperate. "

Article from Laurent Geslin


I sincerely hope that things will work out for the dogs but also for the reputation of Ukraine