Ukraine - STILL Killing for Euro2012
This article may disturb all of us, but especially young children.
It's suggested you ask your parents permission to read it before reading.
As Euro2012 gets underway, you might think to yourself, "has the killing of thousands of animals stopped?" That answer would be no. It is reported that an average of 7,000 cats and dogs are killed every month in order to make Ukrainian cites more beautiful for visitors and for the world to see on television. Ukraine has a large stray animal problem and does not have adequate shelters for these animals to be placed in for adoption. People need to understand that killing animals could happen anywhere in the world, at any given moment, and for any reason, not just for “beautifying” a country, and it is wrong.
It used to be that at the start of the “beautification” process, animals were put into mobile crematoriums to burn - either alive or dead. That action is no longer used (or news of this practice being continued is not found) and instead, individuals have turned to poison, shooting, or hanging the animals. The image of a helpless animal being called by humans to enjoy a snack and then seeing the same animal some time later lying on its side, foaming from the mouth, motionless, is both heartbreaking and disturbing. No human or animal should ever have to endure that pain.
Andrea Cisternino is a fashion photographer and photojournalist. He currently lives in Ukraine, and this is his story. "Two years ago, we actually decided to move to Italy but then I discovered what happens to stray dogs over here, hence I decided to stay and to document the occurrences. It was awful and still is! Now, I fight a battle against all the culprits who are responsible for the death of these poor animals and against everyone who lets it happen. Unfortunately, I’ve been on the road for two years documenting this misery. I have seen things, and still do, that people can’t even imagine and which is against all forms of love for life and living beings. I feel tired and drained. I travel a lot attending conferences in order to make people aware of what happens throughout Italy! It makes me very happy that people are responding to my requests for help, especially to the animal rights activists in Ukraine and the strays which they are lovingly taking care of day by day. I see their help myself every day through my collaboration with these wonderful people. I have to continue reporting these people so that the entire world learns about the horror these poor animals have to go through every day. I work with my wife, Valda, and all the lovely volunteer helpers. I pay the bills for medical treatments and hospitalization, and I also buy food for the dogs. At present, I am trying to found a society for the animal rights activists in this country to give them a louder voice against the Ukrainian government. I am very emotional in moments when we managed to rescue a stray, or when one dies in my arms on the way to the hospital, or when a stray is lying dead on the ground, shot or poisoned from unconscionable people who believe animals are parasites which should be destroyed, just as dog hunters do. I will go on until the barbarism against these creatures whose only fault is being born as strays has ended!"
Ben Williamson, a spokesperson for PETA, commented: "While Ukraine is spending hundreds of millions of euros building shiny new stadiums, it's the dogs living on the streets who are paying the ultimate price for the country to play host to EURO 2012 matches.” Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and former Germany star Lars Ricken posed for a photograph to denounce "these massive and cruel slaughters," said Ricken, who retired in 2009. "It's not about boycotting the Euro but to have a humane attitude towards all living things." The pair believes neutering strays would be the best long term solution.
Knowing that it is still happening, just to make a city appear to be beautiful, only makes it uglier. With limited funds, shelters, and people to care, the voiceless really have NO way of being heard. That's when Marina Bolokhovets steps in. She works with a non-profit animal rescue charity organization “FRIEND” in Zaporozhe, Ukraine. She wrote an essay to address a crowd at the Ukrainian Animal Welfare Conference that took place on the 26th of April. Speaking mostly of what "FRIEND" was started for, she ended it on a great note that people should listen and pay attention to!
"The problem of stray animals in Ukraine is no worth, no better than any other developing countries. The main problem in Ukraine is NOT strays and its quantity, but the people…There are so many kind and supportive people who help, care, neuter homeless animals, but a lot more who does nothing and criticize those who do. Massacre that is happening now is awful. Thousands of killed dogs and cats all over Ukraine. Government does nothing, animal’s welfare activists are slowly giving up as seeing daily cruelty is heartbreaking, animals keep dying… People do not understand and do not to accept that in any other country “the problem” was not solved by killings and was difenatly not solved in ONE DAY. It takes years of hard work, cooperation between welfare organizations, government and international support and involvement to downsize the population of stray animals in human way to the amount when shelters will be needed as a back, but not as the only place to survive from being killed."
* Andrea Cisternino & Marina Bolokhovets - communication via emails