RUSSIA – Russia has recently passed new legislation in an attempt to improve animal welfare across the nation.
The Moscow Times has reported that the bill, called “On Responsible Treatment of Animals and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation,” was officially signed into law by Vladimir Putin.
The bill bans petting zoos in malls, animal cafes, animal fights, housing animals in bars and restaurants, and the killing of stray cats and dogs. The Kremlin now explains that the new law is guided by the “principles of humanity.” Originally introduced back in 2010, it took legislators eight years to finalize the act.
The law also mandates that pet owners take good care of their companion animals. It goes on to ban keeping exotic animals in homes and apartments. Wild animals such as camels and ostriches have been abandoned in the wild over the course of recent years. Keeping wild animals “without a license” will now result in the animal being seized by the state. RT notes that this will make it much harder for “semi-legal” circuses to operate.
The killing of stray cats and dogs has become increasingly and sadly common in Russian cities over the past few years. This brand new law mandates that all stray animals are to be captured, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped, and released.
Although this new law establishes a multitude of new protections for animals in Russia, it has been harshly criticized for the inclusion of a law that requires pet parents to muzzle “potentially dangerous” dog breeds. The state will define this later on. It also establishes designated areas for dog-walking.
“After the New Year, people will go out on the street with their dogs and become outlaws,” Senator Andrei Klishas explained to Kommersant, adding that the law is “legal chaos.”
Other people have criticized the new law for not going far enough. “This law covers only one percent of what we’d like to see,” Irina Novozhilova, head of the animal rights group Vita, stated to the RBC.
While the law grants protections to domestic and wild animals being kept by humans, the Kremlin has noted that it does not apply to wildlife, fish farming, hunting, or the use of farm and lab animals.