MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. The State Duma has adopted amendments to the Russian Criminal and Criminal Procedural Codes that stiffens penalties for cruelty to animals at Friday’s second reading. United Russia and Just Russia MPs headed by Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection Vladimir Burmatov put forward the initiative.
The revised version sets tougher consequences for "animal cruelty that lead to their deaths or injuries if the act was committed because of delinquent or self-seeking behavior, or through sadistic methods." The punishment will be an 80,000-ruble fine, or three-year prison sentence (the law currently sets the maximum punishment at six months’ imprisonment)." If an animal is tortured "in the presence of a minor by a group of people in collusion, by an organized group, in a sadistic way," the perpetrator will face three to five years in jail.
Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection Vladimir Burmatov said that the revised version of the bill has gotten tough on those killing animals and so-called "doghunters." "Number one, jail time for animal cruelty is set at up to five years. Number two, we’ll introduce penalties for ‘doghunters,’ which will mean being held liable for murdering several animals. Number three, criminal liability will be stiffer for sadistic actions against animals. And number four, additional responsibility for broadcasting animal abuse over the Internet will be enacted, and, finally number five, there will be stricter punishment for engaging minors in this activity," the MP vowed.
These measures should serve as a deterrence, he believes, which would stop potential abusers from committing such crimes.