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Kiev's dog hunters go on the attack to rid the city of strays

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  • oliveryurkiw
    Just read article from the Guardian Uk. What is going on in Ukraine???   From The Gaurdian:   Ukraine   Kiev's dog hunters go on the attack
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 29, 2013
      Just read article from the Guardian Uk. What is going on
      in Ukraine???

        From The Gaurdian:


        Kiev's dog hunters
      go on the attack to rid the city of straysCreatures slaughtered with poison or
      a single shot to the head on the grounds of public health

        Share 676

      Oksana Grytsenko in Kiev

      Sunday 11 August 2013 18.18 EDT  

      Kiev has up to 18,000 stray animals, mostly dogs, the
      authorities say. Photograph: Anna Voitenko

        They adopt
      nicknames such as hunter, comrade and chemist-amateur. They swap tips on the
      whereabouts of a target and recipes for poison. And when the moment is right,
      they strike with doctored food or a simple shot to the head.

        Kiev's dog hunters
      are taking matters into their own hands, targeting the city's thousands of
      strays in the name of public health. But in so doing, they are stoking a row
      about animal rights in a country famously blase about the welfare of its

        Last year, when
      pictures of strays lying on Ukrainian streets provoked an international storm
      in the runup to Euro 2012, the government invited in foreign vets, including
      the Austrian organisation Vier Pfoten (Four Paws), which offered free neutering
      and vaccination of stray animals at mobile clinics.

        But soon after the
      football fans went home, the slaughter of stray dogs resumed in Kiev.

        Now Vier Pfoten has
      stopped its neutering programme after death threats were posted on the web.
      "They said I could be killed exactly like happened to a judge in
      Kharkiv," said Amir Khalil, head of the Vier Pfoten project in Ukraine,
      referring to a judge found decapitated in his flat together with three members
      of his family in December 2012. "They said: 'We don't need foreigners to
      castrate our dogs!'"

        He said because the
      authorities and police in Kiev had not taken action after the threats, the
      project had been moved out of the city.

        Kiev, which has a
      population of about 3 million people, has up to 18,000 stray animals, mostly
      dogs, city officials say. The authorities claim they lack money to keep them
      all at shelters.

        Dog hunters use a
      website called "Vreditelyam.net?" ("no to pests") to share
      information about the dogs' locations, discuss recipes for poison and post
      photographs of the dogs they have killed. They call the dogs "flea
      carriers", the pieces of food laced with poison "yummy" and the
      dog's killing "sending to a rainbow".

        Dead dogs in
      plastic bags left on the ground. Photograph: Anna Voitenko Oleksiy Sviatohor, a
      lawyer, is one of the few who admits to being a dog hunter. "This work is
      like cleaning up the trash," he said. "Some may not like it, but we
      are finding the solution."

        Sviatohor claimed
      that the neutering by Vier Pfoten was merely mutilating the dogs and did not
      solve the problem. He said the poison, an anti-tuberculosis medication that is
      extremely toxic for dogs, causes a relatively fast and painless death.

        But Tamara
      Tarnavska, an animal rights campaigner, finds it almost unbearable to talk
      about the dog hunters. "An animal takes five or six hours to die in
      agony," she said.

        Volunteers have
      seen the hunters giving poison to the dogs and reported them to the police. But
      they remember only one case of someone being imprisoned for slaughtering stray
      dogs. In June 2012 a student, Oleksiy Vedula, who tortured and killed more than
      100 dogs and posted videos on the web, was sentenced to four years in jail.

        Sviatohor said
      thousands of residents had been attacked by stray dogs and many people supported
      the dog hunters.

        But animal rights
      activists say family dogs and even children playing in gardens risk eating
      poison left by the dog hunters.

        Serhiy Morozov, a
      video engineer, was recently bitten on the leg by a stray dog. He said he was
      lucky to be wearing jeans, which protected him from the dog's teeth and the
      risk of rabies.

        Moro zov said that
      while he would be more careful around stray dogs, he would never justify the
      killing of animals by dog hunters. "I would strangle these people with my
      own hands," he said.  


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