The final stages of the 2012 European Football Championship, organised by UEFA, will take place in Poland and Ukraine from 8 June to 1 July 2012. For about a year, in order to clear its towns of stray cats and dogs in anticipation of the championship, the Ukrainian authorities, instead of setting up adequate facilities and carrying out specific sterilisation campaigns, have had no scruples about using extremely cruel methods such as poisoning, bludgeoning to death, shooting and mobile incinerators(1), where in some cases the poor animals are thrown in when still alive. It is estimated that ten thousand animals have been barbarically killed up to now.
This terrible news is fast spreading around the world. The situation has been denounced and documented by press photographers and local animal protection associations which continually send proof of what is happening and it has been shown by many European television channels(2).
Notwithstanding repeated complaints, appeals and initiatives, this massacre of thousands of innocent animals has not stopped and is compromising the image of Euro 2012, a great European event that should have been a wonderful means of achieving the fundamental strategic objectives of the Union with regard to integration and civilisation.
Can the Commission state whether there has been co-financing at the expense of the European Union budget for the organising of the European Championships and, if so, what percentage the budget has contributed?
Considering that the partnership and cooperation agreement between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine, which came into effect on 1 March 1998, is shortly due to be replaced by the Association Agreement and in the light of Article 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which considers animals to be sentient beings, does the Commission intend to take urgent concrete action vis-à-vis the Ukrainian authorities to stop this uncivilised, barbaric and pointless massacre that is provoking outrage among the citizens of the Union and throughout the entire world?