Cats are not orphans! Why animal rights activists went into battle against the Pharmaceutical Garden at Moscow State University

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Cats are not orphans! Why animal rights activists went into battle against the Pharmaceutical Garden at Moscow State University
Cats are not orphans! Why animal rights activists went into battle against the Pharmaceutical Garden at Moscow State University
16 November, 11:22CityPhoto: Новые Известия
Moscow is closely monitoring the expulsion of a family of cats from the Aptekarsky Ogorod, Russia's oldest botanical garden. Tailed inhabitants have been an integral part and soul of this corner of nature for decades. But a new director named Chub arrives and orders the seals to be driven out of his possessions.

Yulia Suntsova, Natalya Seybil

On November 10, 2022, Vladimir Chub , the newly appointed director of the REC - Botanical Garden of Peter the Great of the Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University, issued an order “On the stay of homeless animals in greenhouses”.

Cats breed, carry helminths and infectious diseases, cause allergies, tear up the soil around plants and leave excrement, thereby creating an unfavorable environment for people and “harmful to the health of plants,” Chub states in a document and orders supply managers to close up all the cracks in the foundations, install gratings on the windows. The cats should not have a single chance to sneak back into the garden.

From now on, all employees of the greenhouse complex are strictly forbidden to feed cats. The administration brings the will of the head to the employees under personal signatures. Warning signs with a similar message are made for visitors.

Employees of the Aptekarsky Ogorod, who handed over to the animal rights activists a photocopy of director Chub's order, refer to some secret protocol to it. The Protocol allegedly prescribes placing poison in the territory of the reserve in the amount of: 1 package of poison per 100 square meters. m. Vladimir Chub would later refute this information, calling it "impudent slander".

Slander is not slander, but cats disappear from the garden. Animals put outside the gate roam around, freeze and starve, trying to return to their home. Those that could - hide in the corners. Cat Anton, cats Magnolia, Fenya, Turtle and Mouse are still in sight of the defenders.

For the mustachioed-striped ones, a real partisan battle is unfolding in the city. At night, volunteers free the manholes - unscrew the screws on the gratings with Phillips screwdrivers, rake the mounds of sand. From time to time, cats manage to get back to warm shelters.

Several visitors, buying entrance tickets, went into the garden and tried to catch the animals in order to take them for themselves. But the Chopovites prevented them.

“The general director of the private security company Bastion attacked me and, turning to you, said that he was a Cossack, he had the right to use a whip, pulled the phone out of his hands”, - says an employee of the Cats and People cat cafe.

On November 12, near the main entrance to the Pharmaceutical Garden, a picket was held for the release of fluffy ones.

On Monday, November 14, Vladimir Chub goes for broke and calls the catching service from the State Budgetary Institution “Dorinvest” to the Pharmaceutical Garden, which means that the next stage for cats is cages in the city shelter. At the same time, the guards of the garden enter into a physical confrontation with the activists. Arriving volunteers are forbidden to approach in the garden fence.

"Many people have come together to solve the problem - shelters, animal welfare funds, cat cafes and volunteers. A public fundraiser began, there were curators and overexposure, and even those who wanted to take the animals to themselves. I contacted Chub, very politely offered to meet and discuss how to humanely resolve the situation. She explained that it is necessary to sterilize the animals, build houses on the territory, and gradually we are ready to attach the animals. I told him which funds are involved in this, how much it will cost and who is ready to help, including under contracts. In response, the director accused me of extortion and said that the issue was resolved, there would be a capture, and this was not discussed", - Anna Feldman, head of the Kotospas charitable Foundation for the Protection of Urban Animals, tells NI.

According to Anna, the city trapping "Dorinvest" has already been called. He will complete the application within five days. All this time the cats stay outside. Everyone who deals with homeless animals in the city knows that Dorinvest is very bad. There are many diseases in the municipal shelter, many infections. And then they say: “Oh, but the cats turned out to be terminally ill, they had to be euthanized”, or “Oh, they weren’t marked as pharmacists and they already managed to give them to good hands, all fifteen, yes. To whom? We will not say confidentiality” and so on. The state does not know how to work with homeless animals, - commented activists from the cat cafe "Cats and People".

The cat cafe also turned to the management of the Pharmaceutical Garden - entrepreneurs are ready to take the animals into their own care: "We will personally catch, take away and never bother you again". The administration of the garden did not respond to this request.

City capture is worse than bullying. It's better to die right away, continues Anna Feldman. Animal shelters are full. 40 animals sit in common enclosures, and new batches are added to them indiscriminately. They do not take tests from new arrivals, do not look at who has leukemia and who does not, and healthy cats are fatally infected. Sterilized with the cheapest drugs. They feed on the cheapest food. The animals are slowly dying.

"Our cats lived in a coniferous greenhouse on the main alley. The pharmaceutical garden loved them all the way and we lived in close friendship. We created ideal conditions for them, cherished and cherished them. Cats have become members of our team. In all the years that I have been working here, there has never been any damage from the presence of cats. None of the employees can produce a single photo, not a single piece of evidence. The order of Mr. Chub is stupidity, immorality and cruelty", - Alexey Reteyum, adviser to the director, senior researcher at the Apothecary Garden branch of the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University. M. V. Lomonosov, Vice-President of the Moscow Society of Naturalists.

By the way, not just manholes were made in the Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg, but windows in all doors were sawn out so that cats could freely walk on the street and return. And the cats of the Hermitage... - this is practically a cultural code. Cats live in all botanical gardens of the world! Aleksey Reteyum is sure that the benefits that cats bring far exceed the hypothetical damage that they can cause to gardens. For example, they control the number of rodents, so they really, but unintentionally harm plants.

Novye Izvestia contacted the director of the Botanical Garden. Peter 1, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University. Lomonosov Vladimir Chub . He promised that the cats would be sterilized, vaccinated, some would be returned, and some would be distributed to new owners. For pets, a winter house will be built on the adjacent territory and meals will be organized.

"We have already given enough assurances and posted on our website up-to-date information on cats. At the general meeting in the team, we weighed all the pros and cons and came to such a common opinion. - said the director. - We will solve the problem as gently as possible. We will put them in the clinic, they will be vaccinated there, they will be vaccinated. We will keep a certain amount for ourselves, and distribute the rest - we already have people who want to shelter these animals. We do not want to allow volunteers, as they behave unprofessionally, arrogantly and, in addition, slander us. The cats will remain, but not in the greenhouse, but on the territory. I was there today, I asked for food bowls to be put outside near the greenhouse. The cats gathered and ate. We have at our disposal rooms with a heating plant where cats can warm themselves. We agreed with the staff that they will observe the behavior of the cats, they will have somewhere to hide. We will take additional measures for the winter and install a cat house".

However, animal rights activists and volunteers do not believe Vladimir Chub's promises.

- November 15, Tuesday. Just returned from "duty" in the garden. By the fence there is a Dorinvest car, apparently, the capture is underway and then the transfer to the city nursery will take place. They don't let us in with our cats. It seems that we lost, - sum up the volunteers of "Kotospas".

Clause 7.3 of Art. 16 of the Federal Law "On the responsible treatment of animals and on amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation" of December 21, 2018. gives the right to the heads of animal shelters (and persons authorized by them) to independently choose what to do with animals without owners in the future. After mandatory quarantine, examination, vaccination and sterilization, shelters can keep animals until natural death occurs, or return them to their original habitats, or transfer them to new owners.

Thus, there are only two ways to fulfill Vladimir Chub's promises. In order for the cats caught from the Pharmaceutical Garden not to be left to die in the city shelter, either the shelter itself must make a strong-willed decision and, after veterinary manipulations, release the animals to their former habitat, or Vladimir Chub, on behalf of the botanical garden, must officially register ownership or custody of the cats before they are captured and temporary transfer to municipal authorities.

The editors of Novye Izvestia will follow the fate of the pharmaceutical pets.

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