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No strays left behind: Russia’s World Cup host cities intend to open more animal shelters

Animal rights activists will assist animal control agencies

MOSCOW, March 6. /TASS/. More animal shelters are planned to be opened in the Russian cities that will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, regional authorities told TASS.

Animal rights activists will assist animal control agencies in catching stray animals, taking care of them and finding new homes for them. In some cities, animal rights activities will even build new animal shelters ahead of the World Cup, while in other municipalities, they will help willing football fans fill out the paperwork required to adopt a cat or a dog.

No animal to be put to sleep

Authorities in the World Cup host cities said that putting stray animals to sleep is no longer being practiced. Experts told TASS that at present, new methods to deal with stray cats and dogs were in use.

For instance, in the city of Yekaterinburg, there are plans to make such animals rightful "citizens". In order to become one, cats and dogs will have to undergo medical treatment and will be sterilized. After that, the animals will receive a passport with a photo, and chips will be implanted into their bodies along with brightly colored tags secured to their ears indicating they pose no danger and have special rights.

However, according to the Yekaterinburg city administration, implementing such a project requires the adoption of new federal animal protection law, which is currently under consideration.

2018 FIFA World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup, the first-ever hosted by Russia, will be held between June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.

Russia’s Izvestia daily said earlier citing Chairman of the State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection Vladimir Burmatov that the Russia-2018 organizing committee and the Sports Ministry planned to obligate the World Cup host regions to build animal shelters.