Amendments to the legislation on the responsible treatment of animals have been introduced to the State Duma, which will oblige citizens to sterilize and chip pets. It is proposed to equate stray individuals outside the municipalities with wild animals, which will allow them to be shot. The current regulations only allow trapping, sterilizing and releasing animals back, but there are not enough funds to implement these programs, the authors of the bill explain. Animal rights activists warn that the adoption of the amendments will not lead to the declared goals, but may cause public rejection. However, the expert veterinarian does not see a threat in the idea of sterilization of pets, and even welcomes the idea of chipping, but doubts that anyone will be able to control the implementation of the alleged requirements.
To the State Duma made three legislative initiatives prepared by the deputies of the Kurultai of Bashkiria with amendments to the Federal Law “On the responsible treatment of animals”. In particular, we are talking about mandatory sterilization and chipping of pets. “Uncontrolled reproduction (pets.— "b") is one of the reasons for the emergence of the problem of homeless animals, which “breed and huddle in flocks, frightening and causing discontent among people,” the authors justify the initiative. Sterilization, the document notes, "will cost much less than the treatment of diseases, as well as the care and maintenance of a pregnant animal and offspring." The absence of mandatory chipping of domestic dogs at the same time "makes it impossible to monitor the state of the population of these animals and form a culture of responsible handling of them." “Also, marking animals will allow the return of lost animals to their owners and will be a deterrent when animals are left by their owners,” the document states. Stray dogs outside the settlements, according to an explanatory note to another bill, "cause significant harm, destroying clutches and chicks of birds, wild animals." They attack poultry and small cattle, the authors of the bill point out.
“There are many different cases when stray dogs get together in packs, attack people,” explains State Duma deputy from Bashkiria Rafael Mardanshin. “The current legislation only allows catching, sterilizing and releasing animals back. Budgetary funds are spent on this, which the municipalities are physically lacking anyway.”
The parliamentarian admits that “in a good way, of course, it is necessary to develop shelters for homeless animals,” but he clarifies that “for this, municipalities need additional funds that they do not have.”
Mandatory chipping of pets will allow citizens to treat their content more responsibly and consciously, Mr. Mardanshin is sure. “There should not be such a thing that they took a puppy, raised it and then for some reason threw it out into the street,” he believes. “Therefore, certain records of pets are needed so that in the future it would be possible to trace and hold the former owners accountable. If these norms are adopted, it will be necessary to provide for punishment for their violation.”
Legislators do not comment on the idea of mandatory sterilization of pets in detail - meanwhile, it is this rule that can alarm cat and dog owners across the country. According to an October survey conducted with the participation of the Guldog dog walking service (a sample of 1,502 people over 18 years old in all federal districts), most Russians have pets: 38% of respondents keep a cat, 33% a dog, 26% a small mammal or a rabbit. However, veterinarians are not yet inclined to dramatize the initiative: “Sooner or later, most animals have to be sterilized, because illnesses happen,” says Olga Smirnova, veterinary therapist, endocrinologist at the Sotnikova veterinary clinic in St. Petersburg. - It is not dangerous for the health of animals, except for age restrictions. But it is not very clear how to oblige the population to sterilize animals that are kept at home and should not breed - how will this be regulated? Those animals that participate in reproduction will be able to avoid sterilization, Olga Smirnova believes. She sees only advantages in microchipping: “If every owner microchips their pet, that's great. However, it is also not clear how to regulate and check this.”
The initiative of the deputies of the Kurultai may cause a negative public outcry, warns the director of the Bashkir branch of the interregional public organization "Alliance of Animal Defenders" Gulnaz Rakhmatullina. It, in her opinion, can be about neglected animals. “According to federal law, animals must be protected, and they call for shooting them,” she emphasizes. “To solve the problem, you just need to follow the law. First of all - mass sterilization of animals. Zoologists have proven that such individuals do not stray into flocks. It is also necessary to oblige the owners to take responsibility for their pets, not to throw them out into the street. Aliya Vildanova, director of the “Losers” charity fund (Neftekamsk), adds that municipalities do not always implement programs for trapping and sterilizing homeless animals in good faith: “We see dogs with tags on the streets, but for some reason they continue to give birth, although they should be sterilized. Males are also not castrated - they would not stray into packs. Shooting all the animals, considering them wild, is not an option, because they will continue to breed.
The bills have been sent for approval to the Supreme Court and the government of the Russian Federation, Rafael Mardanshin told Kommersant.