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Animal cruelty law explanation to the press

01 Dec, 2021

“Cruelty is hard to stop. Article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation criminalizes cruelty to animals resulting in death or injury. A man who beats a dog, doesn’t feed it or ties it to the car is liable to a fine from 100 thousand to 300 thousand rubles. He can be sent to correctional labor for up to two years or to a colony for three to five years. But while the law exists only on paper, the courts hardly ever give any real sentences to feral animals’, Anastasia Komagina, lawyer and president of the “Forgotten Animals” foundation, told NEWS.ru.

There are at least two reasons for that. The first is that if the torture was not filmed on video, it’s hard to prove who inflicted the injuries on the dog or cat. In Russia there is no system of registration and identification of pets, except for pedigreed, purebred animals. The owner of a mongrel dog can always say that the dog is not his or she ran away to an unknown destination long time ago. He will not bear any responsibility under the law, even if he kills the dog. According to the lawyer, the need for a law on the identification of animals has been discussed many times, but it has never come to fruition. Until there is a single database for all animals, animal cruelty will not be defeated.

The second reason is the unpreparedness of law enforcement to investigate Article 245 crimes. The groomers are punished only if the case has become high-profile and the story has made headlines in the media. In other cases, law enforcement agencies let the cases slide, according to Komagina. They have no resources or desire to deal with them.

Ill-treatment of both animals and people is not a variant of the norm. It always indicates the presence of a mental illness, such as psychopathy, clinical psychologist Valentin Denisov-Melnikov told NEWS.ru. Mentally ill people torturing dogs and cats give an outlet for their aggression. The expert added that such tendencies usually manifest themselves in childhood. Therefore, if parents see something like this, it is necessary to urgently contact a specialist.

Full article in Russian

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