MOSCOW, March 22. /TASS/. Russian Sports Ministry vows to see to it the problem of homeless pets in big cities that will host FIFA World Cup matches will be resolved in a humane way, Deputy Sports Minister Pavel Novikov said at a meeting of the State Duma’s ecology and environmental protection committee on Thursday.
"I would like to say that this problem is not the main one during preparations for hosting the World Cup for us, because it does not have a direct bearing on sports, if you don’t mind my saying so. But animal rights’ activists have raised this issue, so the organizing committee began to ask us questions. We are in touch with the chairman of the State Duma’s ecology and environmental protection committee, Vladimir Burmatov. We will do our utmost it should be resolved properly. In the World Cup’s host cities the problem will be lifted," Novikov said.
He believes the solution of this problem will help bring up the younger generation the right way. "Possibly, this has no direct bearing on sports, but it will influence the younger generation and youths’ attitude to animals," Novikov said.
"We mentioned this problem at several meetings chaired by deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko," he went on to say. "Instructions were issued to the Sports Ministry and our counterparts in other ministries and agencies to ensure this problem should be addressed locally."
"For the first time ever we held a seminar with the organizing committee at TASS on how to keep the population of homeless pets under control and told animal rights activists we are prepared to help and received their support. In any case we will ensure decisions should be made on creating animal shelters this year," Novikov concluded
Russia is to host FIFA World Cup finals on June 14 - July 15. The matches will be played in eleven cities - Moscow, Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Кazan, Nizhni Novgorod, Samara, Saransk, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Yekaterinburg.