Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Ukraine's Culling Of Stray Animals Continues To Draw Protests

A stray dog walks on a street in Kyiv, which alone has an estimated stray population of over 25,000.
A stray dog walks on a street in Kyiv, which alone has an estimated stray population of over 25,000.
Despite media coverage and protests at home and abroad, and even an official moratorium by the Environment Ministry, animal-rights activists in Ukraine say that a systematic culling of stray animals continues ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championships this summer.

On March 31, more than 300 protesters marched through central Kyiv brandishing signs reading "Football does not need blood" and "Yes to sterilization, no to murder."

They accuse local authorities of using inhumane, even illegal methods such as poisoning to reduce the country's large population of stray animals ahead of the European soccer finals to be co-hosted with Poland this summer.

They have been joined by European celebrities such as German Princess Maja von Hohenzollern, who campaigns for animal welfare, and even players on Germany's national soccer team.

Activists have demanded that President Viktor Yanukovych impose a country-wide ban on the killing of stray animals, which they say continues on a local level despite the official moratorium.

This despite donations from other European countries of mobile sterilization vehicles for use and a Kyiv plan to find homes for strays.

Activists call for a program of sterilization and humane euthanasia, as practiced in other countries.
Activists call for a program of sterilization and humane euthanasia, as practiced in other countries.

Tamara Tarnawska, head of the SOS International Animal Protection Society, says that according to official sources, 4,000 dogs were sterilized in Kyiv in 2011. But she's sure that more than 2,000 of them were poisoned afterward anyway.

Local authorities are not interested in dealing with Ukraine's large population of stray animals in a humane fashion, Tarnawska says. It would take decades to resolve the problem because "society is sick and doesn't have a humane upbringing," she adds.

Tags: soccer,animal cruelty

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Bianca Bellelli from: Geneve Switzerland
April 15, 2012 19:42
If Ukraine wants to be' considered a modern and develOped country, it should start by using the same civilised standards of those countries when it comes to stray dogs and cats. Funds have to be put at the disposal of those organisations that wish to sterilise those animals that live on the streets. Besides the image of ukrainian towns would gain from showing tolerance and care.
In Response

by: max from: chicago
April 18, 2012 14:41
Ukraine is a 3rd world country, and the people living there know it. They don't have money to help humans that need medical care, its silly to think they will spend money on saving dogs.
In Response

by: Yara from: Kyiv
April 18, 2012 21:13
Max, you have obviously not been in Ukraine recently, nor in real "third world" countries. Ukraine has advanced quickly in so many ways -- its shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, stadiums, ski resorts, movie theaters, etc. are world class. But it has a long way to go in terms of resolving many issues such as rule of law, government responsibility, medical insurance, and, maybe not as essential but still important -- treatment of stray animals.
In Response

by: Horst Gepnawe from: Terra, Solar System
April 21, 2012 03:42
Typical arogant lecture from xenophobic Switzerland.
Tell you what, little lady... You live with 25,000 STRAY dogs in your Geneve for three months and then get back to us. 'k??
In Response

by: Bianca Bellelli from: Geneva
April 21, 2012 12:44
Horst, before showing your arrogance in all its splendour,I am not Swiss. I have lived in Eastern and far. estern countries where governments understood that the only proper solution to the problem of stray dogs is sterilization. Ukraine is NOT a third wolrd country, it just needs to make the right decisions in this matter. As the saying goes, when there s a will, there s a way.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

Most Popular

Editor's Picks