As Euro 2012 kicked off on Friday 8th June, Europe was immediately engulfed in football fever. The tournament is being held in Poland and Ukraine but here in London, flags are being given away at tube stations, supermarkets are using their leftover-from-the-Jubilee union jack laden goods as patriotic football supporter tools, colleagues are leaving work early and flooding the pubs to make the 5pm kick off... Everything and everyone is football mad. Usually, I enjoy this time of year and jump on the bandwagon but this year is different.
In Ukraine, stray dogs were being shot or poisoned by the government in an attempt to purge the streets of the abandoned and neglected dogs to hide them from the football fans descending on the country. Instead of promoting effective methods to combat overpopulation, such as spay and neuter initiatives, homeless animals were killed by shooting or poisoning before being buried in mass graves or cremated - it is alleged that sometimes the dogs are not actually dead before they are cremated which I find horrifying.
These defenceless animals are no different from our pet dogs with the same capacity for love, fear and pain. The way they have been treated is nothing short of abominable.
The organisation behind Euro 2012, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has criticised the Ukrainian authorities and after being contacted by PETA Germany have offered financial support to animal protection advocates for humane population control initiatives in the country.
Although we can't change what has already happened, it is not too late to sign this petition addressed to the Ukrainian Embassy to encourage them to choose humane methods. There are many other petitions and actions to be taken, please do check them out if you have time. As well as contributing to the petitions and actions I am not going to watch a single football match, this may not achieve much but I can't bear to try and enjoy a football game when I think about what has been sacrificed.
Please do let me know if you hear of any more petitions or actions and I will add them.