Sochi Poisons 'Threatening' Stray Dogs

Man hired to cull dogs calls them 'biological trash'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2014 4:35 PM CST
In this photo taken on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, a stray dog and its puppy sit behind the railings in the middle of a highway outside Sochi, Russia.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Newser) – Visitors to the winter Olympics in Sochi won't have to worry about stray dogs pestering them—because the city is killing them off with poison, Business Insider reports. Homeless dogs are a common feature throughout Russia, but now dog bodies are lying around Sochi and "don't appear to be alive. Weird," tweeted Yahoo journalist Charles Robinson. "A pretty disturbing scene," he added. "Large dogs, too." Alexei Sorokin, the owner of the company hired to cull the dogs, called the canines "biological trash" that threaten the Olympic games, ABC News reports.

"Imagine, if during an Olympic games, a ski jumper landed at 130 kilometers an hour [over 80 mph] and a dog runs into him when he lands," Sorokin said. "It would be deadly for both a jumper and for the stray dog." Typically his company traps or poisons dogs, but he denied that this amounted to cruelty. The stray-dog issue has come up before in Moscow, where pet owners and animal activists oppose "dog hunters" who kill dogs with poisoned meat. It's clear whose side Sorokin is on: "Parks are dumping grounds for unwanted dogs," he said. "We end up with many stray dogs who pose a threat to [the] population. " (Read more 2014 Sochi Olympics stories.)

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