Issue of flares is particularly close to Zenit Saint Petersburg, so no wonder this club is the one to turn to pigs for a solution. The animals were already tested and turned out very efficient in finding pyrotechnic materials hidden under clothes, RIA Novosti claims.
The problem of pyrotechnics inside stadiums became a high-profile one in Russia over the past few weeks with even prime minister Medvedev calling for ‘zero tolerance’ approach. Dmitry Medvedev went as far to call smuggling flares and lighting them up not as incidents, but premeditated crime.
This may seem way too harsh, but there was also quite some reason for it. Dynamo Moscow goalkeeper Anton Shunin had been hit by a firecracker in November and had to be taken to hospital for eye and ear injuries.
This is where Zenit St. Petersburg club name pops up (not the first time…) as it was hooligans in the away section responsible for the incident. It’s suspected female fans smuggled pyrotechnics inside the stadium inserted to condoms that were hidden in their intimate parts.
There is no law that would allow personal searches to go that far, so Zenit is keen to try and use pigs as a solution. Deputy General Director of Zenit, Yury Fedotov, told Russian sports news site sportbox.ru that, in tests, pigs had proved to be just as effective as dogs at identifying hidden flares. He added that modern technology had nothing that could outperform either animal in this regard.
As odd as it may seem, this approach looks a whole lot more humane than one used in Tomsk recently, where a whole section of crowd was hosed with cold water once flares were lit. Worth mentioning, average November temperature in Tomsk is close to -10C (14F).