Sochi officials are planning an animal massacre right before Friday’s Winter Olympics as a way of embracing Russia’s responsibility to the international community. The pest control company which has been in charge with killing stray dogs for years in the city has accepted the job to exterminate thousands of dogs and cats that could jeopardize the smooth running of the event.
Although activists have been against the animal massacre, which is reportedly happening for years in Sochi, the government is carrying on with the plan to exterminate every living soul on the streets of the city before the upcoming Winter Olympics. Alexei Sorokin, the director general of Basya Services pest control firm, confirmed for The Associated Press that his company has been contacted to capture and dispose of the animals that could either bother people or interrupt the Winter Olympics. The decision comes after a stray dog walked in on the performers during a rehearsal, which led Sorokin to believe that measures have to be taken in order to avoid such an occurrence during Russia’s most important event.
“This will be a disgrace for the whole country,” Sorokin said.
Activists have already stated their opinion with regard to this animal massacre and point out that killing stray dogs instead of sterilizing them is a normal common practice. Moreover, they mention that the killing method is hardly elegant and Sergei Krivonosov, a lawmaker in the Krasnodar area admits that shooting is “not the most humane way” of disposing of the animals.
Animal activist Dina Filippova is certain that Sochi authorities are using the Winter Olympics as a cover-up and mentions that animal massacre is no novelty in this region. She also stated that two killers from Basya Services murder 300 dogs per month, but Sochi City Hall mentioned in a statement available on its website that a dog shelter was opened on Monday and its capacity can provide safety for 100 dogs.
In an interview with ABC News last week, Sorokin called the dogs “biological trash,” thus upsetting even more activists all over the world who wish to end the animal massacre that Sochi plans to put into operation before the Winter Olympics. Care2, a website which connects activists from all around the world, already made a petition whose target is President Vladimir Putin. Over 34,000 signatures were gathered so far and the number increases with every minute.
Sorokin refused to say how many dogs are killed per year, calling it a “commercial secret,” but voices of several animal rights groups mention that over 2,000 stray dogs and cats were killed last year. Charities also state that they have filming evidence that the animal massacres usually take place during nighttime. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) condemns Russia’s method of dealing with stray animals and utters that the glamorous images it wants to portray is damaged by the cruelty it shows with regard to stray dogs.
A Peta spokesperson urges sports fans across the world to “contact their Russian embassy and demand and end to the massacre.” According to the same source, the sporting celebration is stained with the blood of innocent animals, which are killed in the most inhumane way. Irrespective of the worldwide accusations, for now Sochi continues with its plan to massacre all stray animals before Friday’s Winter Olympics.
By Gabriela Motroc