NEWS AND COMMENT: In Russia, until recently, companion animals could be seized as if they were items of furniture and used as an official means of forcing debtors to pay bailiffs. Yury Koretskikh, head of the Alliance of Animal Defenders, said that the idea of confiscating an animal was ‘blasphemous’. He also said: “A living being must not become a hostage for settling financial questions.”
The lower house of Russia’s Parliament, the State Duma, passed legislation on Tuesday which banned the practice. Comment: the law before the amendment was wrong in several ways:
- It caused emotional upset, pain and confusion in the animals concerned;
- It caused emotional upset and anguish in the pet owners concerned;
- The authorities and organisations carrying out the removal of animals often do not have the necessary resources to keep them. So what happened to them?
- The point made by Yury Koretskikh needed saying but is common sense
I’ve used common sense in the first two and the third point was made by the authors of the legislation which has been introduced.
The speaker of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, supported the legislation. He said that the ban “will prevent the tragedies that can take place if bailiffs take away an animal.”
Further comment: the fact that the change in the law has occurred in 2021 must indicate the relatively poor state of animal welfare laws or enforcement in Russia compared to the Northern European nations.