Putin to deploy ‘canine KGB death squads’ to butcher thousands of stray dogs in football World Cup host cities, claim campaigners
WARNING — DISTRESSING IMAGES: The mass slaughter of stray dogs will take place despite assurances to the contrary, say animal rights campaigners.
Tenders worth £1.4million have already been signed in some host cities to deploy a so-called ‘canine KGB’ to carry out the killing, according to campaigners.
World Cup venues are estimated to be home to two million strays and a petition started to oppose the killing has already gathered 56,000 signatures.
It has echoes of similar action which took place in the Ukraine before Euro 2012, when it co-hosted with Poland.
On that occasion Ukrainian authorities were criticised for offering a bounty of £35 per dead dog as part of a cull ahead of football championship.
Volgograd, where England play their opening game, has granted some £25,500 to ‘eliminate’ strays, according to a government website showing tenders.
However, Nizhny Novgorod, where England will play Panama, a total of £185,000 will be spent on shelters and immunising strays and not on culling animals.
The petition was started by Ekaterina Dmitrieva, director of the City Animal Protection Foundation.
She accused FIFA of turning a blind eye to the «butchers» and refusing to press the Russian government over the «scandal».
The petition warns hundreds of thousands of dogs, cats and even birds could be killed.
The claims run contrary to action by deputy premier Vitaly Mutko who recently ordered host cities to set up temporary animal shelters for the estimated two million strays in these locations.
But campaigners claim the cash has already been used to pay for teams and poisons to wipe out homeless dogs and other animals.
Ukraine ‘used giant incinerators to kill dogs and cats’
In the build up to Euro 2012, which Ukraine co-hosted with Poland, Ukrainian authorities were accused of culling stray dogs and cats despite promises not to.
PETA investigators claimed that giant mobile incinerators or poison was being used to kill animals to present a «glamorous» image of the country to the world.
It said that the cull was directly linked to Euro 2012 and went contrary to promises made by the Ukrainian government.
Workers were apparently being paid £35 per dead dog to speed up the cull.
This was despite environment minister Mykola Zlochevsky telling city mayors to stop killing stray animals and invest in shelters instead.
“The tenders have been signed, the money is sent to contractors,» she said, adding that 110 million roubles (£1.4 million) has been signed off to eliminate stray animals.
In Ekaterinburg alone, some staggering £407,000 has been allocated to wipe out stray animals, mostly dogs, she claimed.
But England also play in Kaliningrad, where authorities have vowed not to cull animals but to set up shelters, where £115,000 has been earmarked.
A separate petition signed by more than 90,000 people calls on Vladimir Putin to stop the widespread killing of dogs in Volgograd, where England play Tunisia on 18 June.
Mirror Online has approached FIFA for comment.