Ukraine’s environment minister, Mykola Zlochevsky, recently announced a six-month ban on the killing of stray dogs. The practice has gained traction of late as municipal governments try to clear streets of homeless canines ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, which will be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine next summer. “Let us stop the deaths of these poor stray animals for half a year and build shelters together,” said Zlochevsky.
Thousands of dogs have reportedly been killed during the past year alone. Most often, they’re either poisoned or given a lethal injection. But in one remarkable case reported by the Donbass news site, authorities in Lisichansk have been paralyzing dogs with a syringe gun and burning them alive in a mobile crematorium.
It remains unclear how the ban will be enforced, or what will happen after it expires. For the sake of Ukraine’s legions of wandering mutts, let’s hope city governments heed Bob Barker’s favourite advice by having their strays spayed or neutered, rather than killed.