Online outcry over Olympic dog cull

Online outcry over Olympic dog cull

People around the world have joined a campaign to halt the mass killing of thousands of stray dogs in the Russian city of Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The move has been made in a concerted effort to clean up the city ahead of the Games, for the benefit of both visitors and those watching on television.But animal rights activists have been horrified at the extreme method of dealing with what has been a long-running problem involving dogs which roam the streets.According to one online petition with over 83,000 signatures, calls have been made for other solutions - such as creating shelters and using sterilisation to bring the numbers of dogs down."While the authorities have said they would build shelters, activists contend that there is no evidence that any have been built," those behind the petition claim."In 2012, reports about the killing of stray dogs in Poland and Ukraine in advance of another major sports event, EK 2012, led to international outrage and even a boycott of the tournament."We need to take action now and stop the massacre!"One of the stray dogs that #Sochiofficials have tried to cull ahead of the #Olympics. This one so docile— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) February 5, 2014Stray dogs have been spotted around the Olympic Park, with one even managing to disrupt last week's rehearsals for the opening ceremony.While it has been confirmed that pest controllers are being used, no details have been given about numbers of the method used to kill the dogs.Those opposed to the cull fear that at least 2,000 could be killed in the space of a few days and it has been claimed that the animals are simply shot.Head of Communications for the Sochi 2014 organising committee, Alexsandra Kosterina, said the issue was the responsibility of the city administration."There is a special service which catches the stray dogs," she said."As far as I know, they have a special shelter and they catch them and do medical examinations as to whether they are ill or not."NBC News team charmed by Sochi dogs.— Albina Kovalyova (@agent_Alka) February 5, 2014


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