Warning: The below story, pictures and video footage may be upsetting for some readers.
ANIMAL RIGHTS group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have issued a link to a video clip they claim shows the mass killing and incineration of stray dogs ahead of the European Games in Azerbaijan.
The multi-sport games, expected to attract over 6000 athletes, are due to be held between 12-28th June this year.
The footage, which has not been independently verified, appears to show the bodies of dogs being burned in an outdoor oven.
Last month, similar footage shot by animal rights activist Yelena Simakina was labelled “fake” by Azerbaijani authorities.
PETA has now written to Tahir Taghizadeh, the Azerbaijani ambassador in the UK, calling on him to enact a spay-and-neuter initiative, which they say is the “only effective way” to reduce Baku’s population of homeless dogs.
PETA director Mimi Bekhechi said: “All eyes are on Baku in the lead-up to the European Games, and what the world is seeing are piles of burning dog bones and fur spewing black smoke into the air”.
“We are calling on Azerbaijani authorities to put an end to this massacre before the reputations of this beautiful country and the European Games suffer any further.”
The charity added that news reports suggest that dogs are shot prior to their bodies are incinerated.