Ukrainian protesters stand up for their four-legged friends

June 10, 2012

By Phil O’Connor

Ukraine has been getting a lot of stick in the run-up to Euro 2012 as protesters hop on the football bandwagon to try to make their point.

On Saturday, it was the turn of Kiev’s dog-lovers to call for a boycott of the soccer tournament as they stood up for the interests of their four-legged friends.

Reuters reporters went to a demonstration against the culling of stray dogs for the event. Protesters told us that fans were in more danger from other supporters than the city’s strays.

Vitaly Chernyakhovsky was one of around a hundred demonstrators who were prevented from reaching the Euro 2012 Fan Zone by police.

“If we use the principle that dogs are dangerous for people and that they could attack people, actually it is more common for people to attack each other than dogs attacking people,” he said.

Protesters carrying posters shouted:  “We say no – boycott a bloody Euro 2012!” as their pets barked in agreement.

The city is said to have culled thousands of dogs as part of a “clean-up” in Kiev, which hosts its first game on Monday when the home nation take on Sweden.

And as that day gets closer the police presence is increasing on the streets – but they seem to have brought their own dogs.

PHOTO: A young woman kisses a dog during the “Fair Play For Strays” demonstration to speak out for the rights of stray animals in Kiev,June 9, 2012. REUTERS/Anatolii Stepanov

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