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Red card on cruelty: WSPA asks Ukraine government to end cruel dog kills

Dec 1, 2011

Earlier this year, WSPA was concerned to hear reports that thousands of dogs were being cruelly killed in Ukraine. Reportedly, several cities were taking this drastic step to "clean up" their streets ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer championship being co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland.

Although the Ukrainian Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Mykola Zlochevsky has subsequently ordered an end to the cruel practice, WSPA is writing to the President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), as well as members of the National Executive Committee of the body, asking them to use their considerable influence to ensure that similar culls do not take place anywhere else.

In a letter to the President of UEFA, the WSPA writes, "We appreciate that UEFA has not encouraged or endorsed the mass killing of dogs in Ukraine.  But, this situation does present an opportunity for UEFA, through its guidelines, to prevent any other country undertaking the mass killing of dogs as part of their preparations for future championships.

"We would very much welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the possibility of undertaking collaborative efforts to ensure that governments prepare for future championships by using humane dog population management – not mass killing – to control their stray dog populations."

Effectively managing stray populations

As WSPA has witnessed through several of its projects worldwide, stray dog populations can be effectively managed through identifying and addressing the root cause of the problem – this can only be done through implementing a tailored package of humane dog population management methods, which could include: sterilization, registration of dogs and promoting responsible pet ownership.

Read more about WSPA’s humane dog population work, including a case study on a successful program in Colombo.


Some of our supporters have alerted us to allegations that stray dogs are still being culled in Ukraine. WSPA does not condone the culling of dogs as a population control measure. It is inhumane, cruel and ineffective.

If you have concerns over the situation in Ukraine, please contact Naturewatch who is actively working to support these vulnerable animals.

WSPA remains committed to ending the inhumane culling of dogs and recently launched a global campaign - Collars Not Cruelty - to end the needless culling of dogs in response to rabies. We are also helping to organize the first-ever international conference on stray dog population management to be held later this year.

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