At the end of January the Eurovision Song Contest’s official German language site published a story claiming that Kyiv authorities were planning a massive culling of stray dogs in the Ukrainian capital before the May 2017 song contest. The article includes petitions addressed to Eurovision organizer, the European Broadcasting Union and to Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko calling on them to stop the inhumane killing of street dogs.

The article claims that Kyiv enacted similar measures in 2012 when Ukraine hosted the Euro-2012 football championship. A Ukrainian national living in Berlin cited in the article claims that stray dogs are rounded up and killed because Kyiv animal shelters are filled to capacity.

Answering StopFake’s inquiry about culling  stray dogs in the Ukrainian capital, Asya Serpynska of the Kyiv Society for the Protection of Animals pointed out that the city authorities did not cull strays neither in 2012 nor this year. There are some 2,000 strays in Kyiv presently, and for a city the size of Kyiv, this is an insignificant number, she said.

Asia Vilgelmovna Serpinskaya

Asia Vilgelmovna Serpinskaya

According to Serpynska, Kyiv’s strays are being killed by so-called dog hunters,  people who kill stray street dogs for sport. It is very difficult to catch dog hunters in the act and very difficult to prosecute them, Serpynska said.

A representative of the Kyiv city mayor’s office Andriy Malevany assured StopFake that when apprehended, dog hunters were criminally prosecuted.