Ukraine and Poland are hosting the UEFA Football Championships in 2012. The event kicks off, literally, on June 8 in Warsaw, Poland.. On the face of it this is all good news for football fans in the Ukraine and Poland and for the countries as a whole. An increase in visitors and the money which they spend is good news, isn't it?
Well in these two countries it may not be.
We recently published a report from PETA regarding the killing of dogs in the Ukraine. According to PETA, "Did you know that in Ukraine, dogs are being shot or poisoned and left to endure agonizing deaths? Watch the new PETA video to see the shocking animal abuse that the Ukrainian government is trying to hide from the rest of the world.
The 2012 European Football Championship will begin next month, and host countries Poland and Ukraine are busily preparing for the games. In Ukraine, this preparation includes a barbaric attempt to purge the streets of homeless animals in order to keep the misery of abandoned and neglected dogs out of the public eye.
While the clearest solution to animal overpopulation is to promote spay-and-neuter initiatives, homeless animals in Ukraine are being caught and then shot or poisoned and thrown into mass graves or crematoriums to be burned."
An email from a concerned animal volunteer today, May 31, 2012, included an update. Elaine has been contacting mainstream news agencies in order to publicise this senseless and brutal killing. Here is what she wrote,
The slaughtering of dogs and cats (mostly dogs and said to be in the many thousands) is still going on in the Ukraine but the emphasis lately seems to be on the racism of football fans in the Ukraine and Poland.
It seems The People newspaper is the only British paper to have done a follow up on this massacre last month!!
So what can you do? Sign any petitions you can find online. Contact embassies and get the news out. Use Facebook, Twitter and other means online to make sure this terrible killing is not swept under the carpet. It must be stopped. A boycott of the football would be a good course of action but football fans may balk at that. However just how safe foreign fans will be in the Ukraine and Poland is debatable.
In recent days we have seen footage of police in the Ukraine wielding their own rough justice plus neo nazis threatening foreigners to stay away, especially if they are not white skinned. Ukrainian officials have hit back at allegations of racism but the evidence is there. Even Ukrainian Sex Shops are hoping for a boom in industry but it is worth noting that HIV rates in the Ukraine are the worst in Eastern Europe.
So visit the European football competition in Poland or the Ukraine and you could come back home with far more than you bargained for. UK BBC program Panorama aired earlier this week, showing a stark picture of football violence in the Ukraine but the authorities have promised to protect foreign visitors.
The Ukraine has a terrible human rights record. It needs the UEFA champions to be a success. It needs the money. However unless it cleans up its act it will be far from a success.
For this blogger cleaning up the streets by killing dogs will not help their cause. It is unnecessary, costly and cruel. Time is running out for the Ukraine and Poland. For too many dogs time has already run out. Stop the killing NOW.