Around 20 000 stray cats and dogs are said to have been killed in the Ukraine in anticipation of the European Football Championship to be held in the former Soviet republic and Poland next summer. To make the cities more presentable, they have been destroyed by any means available, be it by shooting, poisoning or beating them to death. There is even talk of ‘mobile’ crematoria being used to cremate both dead and dying animals.
Local voluntary associations have been calling for the Ukrainian authorities to enact neutering measures and build shelters for some time; the tournament organiser itself, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), stated that money had been donated in response to these requests. Not only has nothing changed, but volunteers say they have not received any money (though thefts are said to be rampant) while denouncing a sudden and drastic decrease in the dog population. Recent reports of this horror caused many Internet users to denounce this massacre and invite sports fans to boycott the European Championship in protest.
Could the Commission, which is surely aware of the situation, state:
how it is helping the volunteers;
whether it is true that UEFA is funded by the European Union and what the purpose of the funding is;
if it receives EU funding, how much this amounts to;
whether it agrees that in a Europe that now encompasses 28 countries, it is fundamental to make neutering of strays mandatory and to standardise the relevant criteria in collaboration with legally recognised organisations that are capable of providing data on the stray population in each Member State?