Another tragedy related to stray dogs’ attacks on people has become the last straw. The Investigative Committee of Russia advocated changes in the law, and the State Duma will address this question.
Wek.ru has previously covered this problem. Broadly speaking, it turns out that in practice, the law protects stray animals, but not people. Shooting is prohibited. Dogs must be caught, spayed, treated, chipped, and released back into the wild. In theory, these procedures should reduce their aggressiveness. Unfortunately, this does not happen in real life. Dogs can be taken to shelters so that they can be sorted out by caring citizens. However, municipalities have no money for the construction of such facilities. As a result, dogs breed, form into packs, and attack Russian cities. The local authorities are not happy with the situation but they cannot do anything. They do not have the authority to order the shooting as it is illegal. Besides, by doing so, they would draw down the anger of numerous animal advocates, who play a serious role in society now, on themselves.
It took a long time for the federal authorities to understand the scale of the problem. Things began to change after a horrible incident that happened in the Trans-Baikal Territory in mid-January. A pack of dogs attacked and bit to death a seven-year-old girl in the village of Domna. It was only after this incident that lawmakers realized that the situation was far from being normal. The Investigative Committee, which initiated the criminal case, also finally expressed its opinion.
“After another accident with an attack of stray dogs the Head of the Investigative Committee instructed employees of the central office to collect information on such events, analyze it and prepare proposals to improve the legislation,” said the press service of the Investigative Committee. “There are a lot of them.”
The discussion of the issue outlined another “fault line” in society. Supporters of tougher measures consider the current legislation “false humanity.” Dog advocates accuse them of being close to Nazism and turn on their caps lock voice during the dialogue.
Alexander Mikhailov, deputy of the Trans-Baikal Academic Legislative Assembly, spoke his mind saying that dangerous stray dogs should be shot and their defenders are close to foreign NGOs that are destabilizing the situation in the country this way. In response, animal rights activists promised to do everything possible to revoke his mandate.
This issue immediately got a huge response in other Siberian cities. For example, in Krasnoyarsk, where, a municipal official is on trial for attacks by stray dogs for the first time in Russia. The defendant is the former head of the municipal department of the railroad, infrastructure, and landscaping of the Krasnoyarsk administration. The investigation believes that his negligence led to the death of four people. The fatal accident happened in Krasnoyarsk back in 2020. Then four bodies, of three men and a woman, with numerous traces of dog bites, were found at short intervals in two districts of the city. The official in charge lost his position. In light of the Trans-Baikal tragedy, the question arises – isn't he the one to blame?
A Krasnoyarsk resident wrote to the wek.ru editorial office to report the real situation. A pack of five dogs attacked the house for six months. They lived in a vacant lot nearby and periodically made a raid on the neighboring territory. As a result, domestic animals suffered. Once the dogs attacked an 11-year-old bicyclist, tearing off the skin on his legs.
“We called the police and an ambulance. There was no effect. Utility service providers came and saw that the dogs were chipped. Therefore, according to the law, they posed no danger. Poison them yourself as your appeals will not help, they informally told residents. As a result, the problem was partially solved. Officials of the district administration agreed with the owners of neighborhood facilities, parking, and tire services, to take the dogs to their kennels.
“We are worried. It feels like tanks are coming at us, and we are running around with guns with no bullets. That's how I can describe the situation around the issue. I have been in touch with the Mayors of the Association of Siberian and Far Eastern cities. Our colleagues and I will continue to draw attention to the problem at the federal level to change the law,” said Krasnoyarsk Mayor Sergey Eremin.
“As far as I know, stray dogs are practically a subspecies that have their biological features, including behavioral. The volume of the population depends on the volume of the ecological niche, in particular, the volume of the food supply. The term “stray dogs” is incorrect. Numerous studies have shown that when a population is eliminated en masse, the remaining individuals begin to reproduce vigorously and fill the niche. Accordingly, spay surgery is a way to gradually reduce the population. To do so, the niche must also be reduced at the same time,” Mikhail Budulutsa, deputy head of Zheleznogorsk, said in an interview with wek.ru.
According to experts, the niche is urban garbage dumps and an unsettled urban environment. In addition, the irresponsible behavior of inhabitants who adopted puppies and then throw them out on the street. This includes fight dogs that strengthen the population of dogs from the city's outskirts.”
“When animals attack humans, it seems logical and simple to simply destroy them all but it is an emotional and pointless solution. To solve the problem we need a total accounting of all animals. We need stray surgery en masse and subsidization of this procedure. We need a tax on the keeping of animals and promoting awareness about the responsibility for keeping them. Even if these measures are implemented quickly, it will take several years to fix them. Or we can keep dreaming about mass shootings, lying on the couch,” says Alexey Kulesh, deputy of the Krasnoyarsk Territory Legislative Assembly.