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Russian animal defenders protest against extermination of stray pets

March 25, 2013, 16:21 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila

If to judge on the current situation in the society in general over the attitude to our little animal friends, the Russian society cannot but cause most alarming concerns in this aspect. The struggle for the rights of animals in the country remains a cause of relatively few volunteers and enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the problem of an outrageous extermination of stray pets is very sharp in Russia. On the one hand, the local authorities frequently use these methods. On the other hand, the so-called dog hunters are rampaging more and more actively, poisoning all stray and home dogs they spotted.

The activists of the Russian organization “Zhivoderam.NET” (No to Animal Slaughters!) are holding a picket at the building, which houses a representative office of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan in Moscow, under the slogan, “No to the Universiade on blood!” The protest action is caused by the decision of the Kazan authorities to kill stray dogs within the run-up to the 27th World Summer University Games in 2013.

The animal defenders urged the Tatar government and the organizing committee of the Universiade to solve the problems of stray animals, refusing from the plans to assassinate them.

“Instead of a complex solution to the problem of stray animals, the regional governments allocate exorbitant monetary funds for inefficient and costly procedures to kill the pets every year,” the activists of the organization “No to Animal Slaughters!” said in a statement.

The animal defenders stated that on January 23 the Kazan city authorities have issued a special resolution, under which a tender will be held to select an organization to do the works “to limit” the number of stray pets in the city. A winner of the tender “is to catch 8,815 dogs, 6,958 of which should be killed.” The activists stated that 12 million roubles are allocated from the Kazan budget for the works over a massive extermination of stray pets.

The rally under the slogan “No to the Universiade on blood!” was already held in Kazan last Saturday.

The protest actions against a brutal destruction of stray pets by the state authorities are also held in other Russian regions, where these actions are not linked with any major events. Last Friday a similar rally was held in Novocheboksarsk.

The protesters were carrying the following posters, reading “Let’s develop and fulfil a program for the pet sterilization,” “The animals also want to live,” “Only the bastards are cruel to the animals”. The speakers at the rally said that for the killing of dogs a medical preparation, which causes a long and painful death of the animals from suffocation, is used.

The stray dogs are also facing one more danger. The popularity of the movement of the dog hunters has been growing in all Russian regions since 2011. According to the media reports, the movements of the dog hunters are already rampaging in dozens of Russian cities. The dog hunters claimed that they want to protect themselves and their relatives from some chances to be bitten or even killed by a band of stray dogs. They find the methods they use the only possible in the situation, when the municipal services cannot cope with this problem.

The dog hunters declared a real war against the stray dogs, shooting them down or poisoning them with the lethal medicines. They are scattering the poisoned minced meat primarily in the parks and the forest parks.

However, many home pets are also suffering from the animal poisoners. According to the statistical report of the association Zoopravo, the dog hunters have killed over 2,500 dogs in 2012.

Members of several groups of animal defenders are counteracting to the dog hunters. The fighters for the rights of stray dogs hold protest actions, hacker attacks on the websites of the dog hunters, are collecting the personal data on their enemies and post it online. The lynch law cases against the dog hunters are exposed, as well as the destruction of their property by the animal defenders.

Chief of the third department of the interrogation division of the Moscow police Roman Pelipenko has dwelt at a recent round-table meeting in the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on the struggle of the police against the dog hunters. “Most criminal cases that is to say four criminal cases were opened in the Western Administrative District of Moscow,” he elaborated. “However, no suspect was unfortunately brought to justice. We lack the witnesses, the video records, which fixed that someone is dispersing the lethal pills or the poisoned minced meat at the places, where people are usually walking with their dogs,” Pelipenko noted.

“However, we decided to trace down the websites of the dog hunters, where they are making the appeals to poison the animals. Then we will make up the lists of the dog hunters and will submit them in the Russian communications watchdog so that their websites will be shut down,” the police official explained.

The Moscow police department jointly with the Moscow City Duma has already drafted the amendments to Article 245 of the Russian Criminal Code. If the State Duma approves the amendments, a cruel attitude to the animals will be punished by five years in prison, but already not by two years as of now.

Member of the Russian Public Chamber Bogdan Novorok proposed to ponder over a revival of an ecological police, which has worked in Moscow until recently. In his view, this police would be fighting against the poisoners of dogs and cats toughly.