The new rules for the treatment of animals will come into force on March 1. At the same time, the regions will receive guidelines from the Government on how to prevent stray dogs from attacking people. Some entities have already encouraged residents to report stray dogs to local authorities and have banned feeding animals in public places. Another document, which will come into force in the spring, obliges the Cabinet of Ministers to establish requirements for places where pets are sold.
Landfills have no place
Last year, the State Duma adopted several amendments to the Law on Responsible Treatment of Animals. Some of them come into force on March 1 this year. According to one of them, the Government must approve methodological guidelines for the regions “on preventing animals without owners from causing harm to the life or health of citizens.” And the regions, in turn, should prepare specific rules based on general recommendations.
The guidelines are ready, they will come into force along with the law. According to them, each region should do at least three things: monitor the number of stray animals, catch them and place them in shelters, as well as prevent cases when the life and health of people are at risk. For example, if animals settled in a landfill or in crowded places, show unmotivated aggression towards others, or are in places where it is forbidden to return sterilized and vaccinated four-legged animals from shelters. In addition, authorities and organizations that are engaged in trapping must comply with the requirements for the protection of animals from cruelty.
• Which animals are not allowed to walk in the city
Do not feed or hide
Some regions have already prepared drafts of their own rules. Thus, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Moscow Region instructed the municipalities to organize raids to control the population of homeless animals, and to accept applications from residents to capture four-legged vagrants. Responding to applications should be immediate, the draft order says. Each caught animal must be placed in a shelter, sterilized and vaccinated, and then decide its future fate – return it to the owner, find a new one, release it to its former habitat if the animal is not aggressive, or leave it in a shelter.
In addition, local authorities will need to inform the population about the rules of behavior with homeless animals. Judging by the project, it is impossible to provoke four-legged vagrants to aggression, feed them in public places, hide them from trapping organizations and treat them cruelly. Every month, local authorities will collect information on the number of cases of animal attacks on people and submit to a special department.
The Veterinary Committee of the Volgograd Region has prepared similar rules. People are forbidden to provoke dogs to aggression, treat them cruelly and feed them in public places. Local governments will determine places where dogs cannot be returned from shelters, and will report cases of harm to people every quarter.
The government of the Leningrad region has already approved its order. People who find homeless animals are ordered to report this to local authorities. And among the prohibitions is to equip self-made places for homeless animals and feed them throughout the settlements.
It is important that the regions have the opportunity to establish such rules themselves, since each subject has its own specifics, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection believes Vladimir Burmatov. But some of the norms proposed by the regions are controversial and sensitive. This applies, for example, to the ban on feeding animals. “Anyway, no one will do it, it will only lead to conflicts,” the deputy is sure.
In his opinion, feeding homeless animals is absolutely normal. “I myself carry bags of wet food in the glove compartment of the car so that I can feed a stray cat. From this there are only pluses, including the prevention of the invasion of rats in basements. And as for feeding dogs, it reduces their aggressiveness, because they don’t have to run around in search of food, they don’t stray into packs for this, ”he explained. Another thing is how the process is organized. According to the deputy, it is better to equip feeding places where it will not bother anyone.
First of all, the regions should focus on such measures as preferential programs for sterilization of animals and fines for self-walking, when the owners let their pets walk anywhere, Burmatov added. Over the past three months, self-walking has been banned, for example, in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, the Vologda and Tyumen regions.
Cats will be crowded
Another law, which comes into force on March 1, obliges the Government to approve the requirements for places where animals are sold. The Ministry of Natural Resources has already prepared a document and published it on the portal of draft regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers for public discussion.
The rules apply to the sale of cats, dogs, hamsters, monkeys, snakes, fish and other animals. The project has requirements for cage size, humidity, temperature, fixtures in them. For example, an adult dog can be placed in an enclosure with an area of at least 0.3 square meters – this is 0.6×0.5 meters. There must be places for water, food, sleep and rest, as well as shelter. And for a cat, judging by the document, a cage of 0.25 squares – 0.6×0.4 meters – is suitable, where a scratching post will also be installed.
The project caused criticism, including the size of the enclosures. According to the head of the Animal Defenders Alliance Yuri Koretskyit turns out practically carrying.
The animal will not be able to properly turn around – and in such conditions it may have to spend several months, agreed Vladimir Burmatov. Lacking in the document, in his opinion, is the mention of walking, veterinary care, access to fresh air and sunlight in the room. He said that the deputies discussed this with representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources, and Deputy Minister Murad Kerimov instructed his subordinates to finalize the draft rules.
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