Center for Animal Welfare Legal Protection    
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for rare threatened species of animals and plants
under prevalent conditions of Moscow
(Moscow Red Data Book Commission)

To: Ye.A,.Ilyinsky, Director,
Charitable Society
for the Guardianship of Homeless Animals
117485 Moscow,
45, Ulitsa Miklukho-Maklaya,
Apt. 71

Dear Yevgeny Anatolyevich!

      The Moscow Red Data Book Commission has reviewed your address and hereby informs you as under.
      Moscow State Duma has drafted a Moscow law in respect of animals in the city, which is awaiting approval. The draft law provides for the neutering of stray dogs with subsequent return of these to areas, where they were trapped. As it does so, the stray dog population in Moscow (a few dozens of thousand) is ignored, which is a shame on our city and the country as a whole. The adoption of this law not only discredits the RF capital as a civilized city, but puts the interests of a small group of individuals, motivated materially or for scientific ambitions to neuter stray dogs, above the life and health of the rest of Muscovites who have no protection against attacks or bites of such dogs; besides, stray dogs are doing grave harm to wild animals that inhabit Moscow.
      Since the early 1980s, numerous facts of wild animals, such as elk, sika deer and roe deer being chased and attacked by hordes of stray dogs have been established. It was exactly during those years that sika deer and roe deer were exterminated in Moscow woods, and elk only survived on Losinyi (Elk) Island. However, whenever roe deers happen to wander as far as Moscow woods, they invariably get killed by stray dogs.
      Of particular concern, in connection with the stray dog problem, is the existing situation with animal species entered in the Moscow Red Data Book.
      In 2000, stray dogs dug up a couch and killed Moscows last badger family. In 2003, dogs crushed two individuals of wood mouse, small animals, absolutely unique in Moscow. Stray dogs were the main cause for the abrupt reduction of hedge-hog population in Moscow woods. Blue hare and European hare are being permanently chased by stray dogs. In the fall of 204, when snow covered the land only in early December, and it was extremely difficult for blue hares that had just cast their coats to find shelters, as a result of chase by hordes of stray dogs, this species disappeared altogether in several city wood tracts. For example, in Serebryannyi Bor, where there used to live 4 to 6 blue hares, they were torn to pieces by stray dogs, of which there are more than 30 individuals on the area of under 2 sq. km. In spring, when the hunting instinct in stray dogs, as all specialists know, becomes particularly active, the dogs literally mop up meadows and forests still intact in the city, killing the new-born hares, small mammals and other animals and destroying birds nests on the ground. The neutering of females will never eliminate periodic awakening of the hunting instinct in stray dogs bunching into hordes.
      Facts of stray dogs penetrating into enclosures and destroying animals kept there are reported. During the 1970s, dogs crushed 4 fallow-deers on Losinyi Island, whereupon the keeping of these animals, attractive to the visitors, has to be abandoned. Even animals of the Moscow Zoo did not avoid being attacked by stray dogs: several kangaroos were literally torn to pieces. In city parks, stray dogs destroy ducks nests that ducks set up in water bodies in special small houses arranged for them. The program of restoring biodiversity in specially protected natural areas (SPNA) adopted by Moscow Government is now about to be ruined because even rare animals kept in enclosures are attacked by stray dogs.
      Statements made by adamant advocates of stray dog neutering, who uphold the animal-protection slogans, about the need to produce some proofs of the harm caused by by stray dogs to wild animals cannot be taken seriously (usually, such proponents are scientific workers to whom various aspects of the life of stray dogs in a large city constitute the subject-matter of scientific interest and study. Therefore, it is not for nothing that the struggle against stray animals on game farms, in game reserves and in other SPNAs is a mandatory nature-conservation measure. As for Moscow, of the 18 species of mammals entered in the Moscow Red Data Book, to 5 species chasing by stray dogs is indicated as one of the constraints on habitation in our city. The Moscow Red Data Book is an official document of Moscow Government.
      One should also note that the draft Moscow law on animals in the city, whose adoption is likely to result in damage inflicted in Moscow nature has not evoked a positive report from the State Environmental Expertiza. If the law is passed in its existing wording, the Commission shall reserve the right to take action provided for by the legislation to invalidate it.

      Deputy Chairman of
      The Moscow Red Data Book Commission,
      Executive Editor of the Moscow
      Red Data Book

      Member of,
      The Moscow Red Data Book Commission,
      Executive Editor of the Moscow
      Red Data Book

August 18, 2005

Original of this letter from Moscow Red Data Book Commission

see also press-conference in RIA "NOVOSTI" with The Moscow Red Data Book Commission

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