The author of the project "20 Ideas for the Development of Russia" Dmitry Davydov proposes to solve this problem.
On December 29, 2021, passers-by found the body of a 53-year-old woman near the Yakut hippodrome with lacerations on her face and body. The killers caught on surveillance cameras were not searched for long. And these were not people, but a pack of stray dogs.
Surprisingly, the fatal attack took place in broad daylight, an hour after noon. And that circumstance is doubly tragic, a month earlier, in November, at the same Yakut hippodrome, dogs also attacked a lonely woman. But then, thanks to the help of the watchman and passers-by, the worst was avoided. It is possible that it was the same flock of brutalized animals...
Unfortunately, both of these stories are typical for Russian cities and villages.
Statistics say: every year in Moscow alone, up to 40 thousand people suffer from dog bites (not necessarily fighting dogs). In total, in Russia this number is approaching a million. Dozens of people die, hundreds become disabled, and thousands temporarily lose their ability to work, causing serious economic damage to the state. In this terrible situation, experts believe, dog owners are to blame, who neglect elementary safety rules: they acquire incomprehensible, but very aggressive crossbreeds, do not use leashes and muzzles, and also - when they get bored with the "furry toy" - they throw their pets out into the street, where they pour in in vagrant and extremely dangerous flocks.
One of the publics dedicated to the fight against stray dogs publishes an eloquent collective portrait-martyrology of people who died from dog attacks.
"What is the problem with stray animals? This is, of course, the attack of stray animals on people. Separately, we can mention the crossing with wild animals, after which hybrids appear. These are wolfdogs (a hybrid of a wolf and a dog - ed.) they are afraid of people, but they are completely wild animals and even more adapted to living not only in the city, but also in the wild.Dogs get together in packs.Many odious cases are dog attacks on adults, on children, which occur very often, almost every day , some are fatal. Work to prevent such cases is very important", - said State Duma deputy Nikolay Valuyev on the air of his author's program on Sputnik radio.
It is worth noting that recently the problem of stray dogs, which has existed for hundreds of years, has become aggravated due to the fact that Russia adopted the Law on Responsible Treatment of Animals, which banned the euthanasia or shooting of neglected individuals. Now, captured animals must either be kept in shelters for life, or returned to their former habitat using the Catch-Sterilize-Vaccinate-Return method.
“Unfortunately, Lyubov Loskutova, head of the National Committee for Environmental Safety, notes that the practical implementation of these measures often leaves much to be desired. One of the problems, she says, is the low effectiveness of the vaccines used, as a result of which stray animals can get rabies again.
"They can get rabies after a fairly short time after vaccination ... The dog was vaccinated, sterilized and released into its former habitat - but it wants to eat. She caught a rat, a mouse, a fox, which is a carrier of rabies - and the dog got sick again", - explained Lyubov Loskutova.
But if stray dogs cannot be "utilized", then is there a way to achieve their complete safety for humans?
There is! And Dmitry Davydov gives convincing examples of foreign experience.
The Netherlands, where the Trapping-Sterilization-Vaccination-Return rules are similar to those in Russia, have become the first country in the world where there are no stray dogs. What is the secret of success?
Yes, in that, in addition to enlightenment and educational programs for the humane maintenance of animals, draconian fines for breaking the law have been introduced in the country. Do you hit your dog or cat? Are you starving your "little brothers"? Or just throw them out on the street? Get a fine of up to 19,500 euros, or go to jail for three years! Animal welfare in the Netherlands has been monitored by a special police department since 2011.
But not at all in European Singapore, the punishment for the poor maintenance of a pet, including a discarded pet, is set in the form of a fine of up to 10,000 Singapore dollars (620,000 rubles) and / or a prison term of up to 12 months. For those involved in commercial activities involving animals, the fine is up to $40,000 and/or 2 years in prison.
By the way, for dog lovers living on the streets, Singapore has developed a special instruction on responsible feeding. It is strictly forbidden to throw away or leave food outside unattended. Feeding must be done under close supervision. Leftover food should be removed immediately.
Hence the result. Residents of these and other countries, who care both about their own safety and the fate of animals, are not afraid of four-legged friends.
Dmitry Davydov offers a clear scheme for solving the problem. Today, the punishment for animal cruelty (in particular, throwing it out of the house) is disproportionate to the consequences of the act and provides for a fine of 1,500-3,000 rubles (up to 30,000 rubles for legal entities). It is clear that catching and keeping dogs in shelters at public expense costs much more than these amounts. Therefore, the perpetrators must either pay much more or be forced to work with homeless animals.
The regional authorities should decide exactly how much new fines will be, Davydov said. At the same time, the release of food waste into the streets, which become “their” territory for dogs, and a place for the spread of infections from rats and parasites, should also be considered punishable acts.
All fines are proposed to be used for trapping, sterilization, vaccination and keeping dogs in shelters, primarily aggressive individuals.
Dmitry Davydov sent his proposals, among other things, to the Federation Council Committee on Agrarian Food Policy and Environmental Management.
"Your suggestions will be taken into account in the further work of the Committee in terms of improving the legislative regulation of animals", - answered the Deputy Chairman of the Committee for the Treatment of Animals E.G. Zlenko.
“I ask the Federation Council to initiate a more severe measure, I believe that the fine for a discarded dog should be about 50,000–100,000 rubles. work on the implementation of Trapping-Sterilization-Vaccination-Return rules.
Since we are currently considering bills aimed at introducing administrative responsibility in the field of animal care, now is the best time to legally solve the problem of stray dogs," Dmitry Davydov replied in turn to a letter from the Federation Council.
Novye Izvestiya also interviewed animal rights activists who supported Dmitry Davydov's proposals.
Yelena Isakovskaya, Director of the Nessie Charitable Foundation for Helping Stray Animals:
- I fully support the increase in the amount of fines and the transfer of this money to solve the problem with homeless animals.
We collect batches of purebred puppies, or they die from infection, abuse or falling under the wheels of cars. It is very important to promote the culture of treating animals from childhood. I am sure that both animal volunteers and owners of private shelters are ready to teach such lessons in schools.
- With regard to feeding on the street, can foreign experience be adopted by installing automatic feed and water dispensers?
- The idea is correct. Flocks feed where they feed. We cannot forbid this, so it is necessary to regulate the installation of machines and the allocation of places for feeding. It makes sense.
Increasing the fine and transferring this money to shelters - I support it. But how to determine who this irresponsible owner is? Who will be doing this? Police?
Although, in all these proposals there is a very good message. But you need to think about how to prove and how to organize.
Yana Vodolazhskaya, Director of the International Charitable Foundation for Helping Homeless Animals “Do Good”, Director of the Tailed House Shelter, Volgograd:
- In general, I support Mr. Davydov's proposals. Everything is logical.
As for feeding in the wrong places - the idea is cool, I like it. Indeed, those who feed dogs near the entrance or playgrounds artificially increase the problem of homeless animals. They could feed in the wasteland, but they feed near the playground. Dogs come, they wait, but people are afraid.
I don’t know how it is in Moscow, but in Volgograd there are a huge number of yards from which garbage is not regularly removed. Homeowners associations do not fulfill their duties. It seems that no one feeds the dogs, but they come to the garbage heaps that have not been taken out, tear the packages and find food.
I fully support the idea of pet dump penalties, I think there should be high taxes on an unneutered animal. Owners should be required to sterilize their pets. But I believe that it is necessary to introduce free sterilization not only for the homeless, but also for domestic cats and dogs. Can a retired grandmother sterilize a cat, although she is ready to do it, because she has no money for this! The state must assume this responsibility. At least for a certain period, after which the service will become paid.
In addition, I agree that discarded animals cause financial harm to the state. In our country, for example, they are engaged in trapping and sterilizing neglected animals. Domestic dogs “on their own walking” also get to them. The state spends money on trapping, vaccination, sterilization and release. And the owners at this time give birth to a new pet. History repeats itself. Budget money is spent on serving the same family. Or a dog gives birth to puppies, which then end up on the street. The fine really should be high and comparable to the cost of the state for a stray dog.
Alyona Lakhtina, volunteer:
- Unfortunately, despite the Law adopted back in 2018, there are no really working mechanisms to solve the problem of stray dogs in Russia. Ideally, all non-breeding pets should be spayed. As for the fines, although I absolutely agree that they should be high and inevitable.
Olga Pakkina, media director of the Moscow Society for the Protection of Animals:
- In many countries of the world, the article of the Criminal Code on cruelty to animals really works, according to which fines can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.
I agree that in Russia it is necessary to increase the amount of fines for violation of Article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (cruelty to animals), I consider it necessary not only an increase in fines, but also an increase in criminal terms under this article.
Listing the collected fines to solve the problem of stray animals is a sound idea, but it is necessary to clarify whether it is possible to distribute it directly within the topic of animals.
Regarding feeding animals in specially designated places, this is a complex topic, and it must first of all correspond to the humane vector of Federal Law 498.
Also, I would like to pay special attention to the formation of a humane attitude towards animals in society, starting from childhood. Attitude towards our smaller brothers brings up in a person responsibility for elderly relatives and parents in old age. Big things start small. And in this sense, it is difficult to disagree with Dmitry Davydov and his call for legislative support in solving the problem of homeless animals and the active role of the state.