KIEV, Ukraine -- Around 300 activists in Ukraine on Saturday urged the authorities to stop killing stray dogs as the country is preparing to host the Euro 2012 football championship this summer.
Thousands of stray dogs have been killed in Ukraine as the country gears up to host Euro2012.
The activists representing several of the former Soviet republic's non-governmental organisations marched through central Kiev brandishing slogans such as "Football does not need blood" and "Yes to sterilisation, no to murder."
They later held a rally which also sought to raise money to help homeless animals.
Activists, many of whom also brought pet dogs, chanted:
"We say 'no', let's boycott the bloody Euro, the championship will not take place over the bodies of stray dogs."
The protesters demanded that President Viktor Yanukovych stop the killing of the strays and adopt legislation protecting the animals.
Thousands of stray dogs have been killed in Ukraine over the past year as the country is gearing up to host the football championship.
The move has outraged international and local animal protection groups which have called on the Ukrainian government to build shelters for the homeless dogs and sterilise them.