Autonomous non-profit organization
Centre for Animal Welfare Legal Protection

STRAY DOGS IN A MEGAPOLIS


Brief report on videomonitoring of stray dogs, conducted by Centre for Animal Welfare Legal Protection in Moscow during 2006-2007, evidencing adverse consequences of the adopted municipal programme that provides for free habitation of stray dogs on the territory of the city.



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Some conclusions drawn on the strength of the findings of videomonitoring:

      1. Hordes of stray dogs in some cases obstruct:
      - stated purpose and use of the urban areas;
      - standard (normative)use of private and public property (which includes the entire city transport infrastructure, tube, motor transport, childrens playgrounds, lands enjoying a nature-conservation and recreational status, etc.);
      - proprietary rights and private property rights of legitimate rightholders (including car owners, pet owners, land and real estate owners);
      - unrestricted access to work and occupations (including those for low-mobility citizens: parents with prams and small kids, the disabled, the elderly, etc.);
      - sanitation-and-epidemiological well-being of the population on lands held in trust (by the right to land ownership) and labour protection of hired labourers (by the right of employers)in conditions of uncontrolled presence of stray dogs whose behaviour is unpredictable.
      2. The results of videomonitoring indicate that a high percentage of homeless cats and a high percentage of stray dogs, living in the conditions of street environment of a megapolis:
      - get injured, are in a state of stress, are subject to cruel and inhumane handling, sustain pain, fear, suffering and die an excruciating death;
      - propagate and get missed without control, which fails to meet European standards and requirements imposed on humane handing of pets and humane controlled regulation of their population formulated, among other things, in the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.


The conclusions of videomonitoring conducted in Moscow are in full agreement with the outcome of a similar municipal programme of stray dog neutering conducted in Nizhni Novgorod in 2001, which existed for 2 years, and was cut short urgently by a sanitation-and-epidemiological commission in 2003 in view of the catastrophic consequences to the city.

Topic 1.

Stray dogs in areas intended for transportation
(see also appropriate written petitions from citizens and responses from organizations)

Section 1.1 Hordes of stray dogs create obstructions to motor transport on the carriage-way.
 VIDEO CLIPS 1.1_1-1.1_21

Section 1.2 Stray dogs and homeless cats often get run over by city transport.
 VIDEO CLIPS1.2_1-1.2_16

Section 1.3 Stray dogs, congregating and moving near the facilities of the urban transport infrastructure, create obstructions to standard normative operation: of private and public transport, metro, highways, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.
 VIDEO CLIPS 1.3_1-1.3_35

Section 1.4 Stray dogs at and around petrol filling stations create obstructions to pedestrians and to the movement and standard operation of motor vehicles.
 VIDEO CLIPS 1.4_1-1.4_7



Topic 2.

Stray dogs in areas intended for upbringing, recreation and training of kids
(see also appropriate written petitions of citizens and responses of organisations)

Section 2.1 Hordes of stray dogs on childrens playgrounds.
 VIDEO CLIPS 2.1_1-2.1_25

Section 2.2 Hordes of stray dogs on territories of childrens institutions.
 VIDEO CLIPS 2.2_1-2.2_10


Topic 3.

Stray dogs in natural complexes, in the forest-park zone and in specially guarded natural territories.
Stray dogs inflict damage on wild fauna, which contradicts Russian nature-conservation legislation (RF Laws On the Fauna, On Environmental Protection, On Specially Guarded Natural Territories, and others).
(see also appropriate written responses of organizations and petitions of nature-conservation institutions)

Section 3.1 Hordes of stray dogs in natural complexes, in the forest-park zone and in specially guarded natural territories.
 VIDEO CLIPS 3.1_1-3.1_9



Topic 4.

Hordes of stray dogs are chasing homeless cats actively.
Due to stray dogs being so near, homeless cats are in a state of permanent stress, feeling suffering, pain, fear, and die an excruciating death. A situation such as this does not meet the European standards and requirements towards humane handling of pet animals and humane controlled regulation of their population, formulated, among other things, in the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.
(see also appropriate written petitions of citizens, results of a VTSIOM opinion poll, data of monitoring on the death of homeless cats in two Moscow districts during 2000-2005)

Section 4.1 Cats, while fleeing the dogs, are trying to save themselves on trees, in the basements and other shelters.
 VIDEO CLIPS 4.1_1-4.1_18

Section 4.2 Hordes of stray dogs, mostly at night and in the morning, mop up all Moscow yards, peeping into the basement vents, hunting down and lying in wait for cats.
 VIDEO CLIPS 4.2_1-4.2_19

Section 4.3 The average age of homeless cats is under 1 year, because during the first year of life, virtually all street cats die from attacks of stray dogs.
 VIDEO CLIPS 4.3_1-4.3_5


Topic 5.

Stray dogs in and around the yards, streets, in the compounds of industrial, trading, community and cultural facilities.
During stray dog habitation in the above territories, sometimes they produce the following obstructions:
- to movements of citizens;
- for unrestricted access to jobs and occupations (being in the way of joggers, cyclists, skiers, etc.);
- for unrestricted access to transport, trading, community and cultural facilities of municipal infrastructure;
- to provision of statutory rights of citizens to safe working conditions;
- to provision of statutory rights of citizens to health protection, harmless conditions of vital activity and to favourable environment;
- to provision of proprietary rights of rightholders (including the owners of private property: real estate, pet animals);
- to provision of proper sanitation-and-epidemiological state, normative planting of greenery and municipal improvements;
(see also the appropriate written petitions of citizens and responses of organizations)

Secton 5.1 Hordes of stray dogs create obstructions to those willing to go in for physical training and sport by attacking joggers, cyclists, skiers,etc.
 VIDEO CLIPS 5.1_1-5.1_5

Section 5.2 Hordes of stray dogs interfere with citizens, when they walk or accompany their pet dogs that are often attacked, barked at and objects of unauthorized contact by stray dogs.
 VIDEO CLIPS 5.2_1-5.2_13

Section 5.3 High population density of hordes of stray dogs in the residential area, in yards and in the streets constitutes an infringement upon statutory rights of citizens: to health protection, to favourable environment, to friendly conditions of vital activity, to labour protection, to unrestricted access to jobs and occupations.
 VIDEO CLIPS 5.3_1-5.3_19

Section 5.4 Hordes of stray dogs often inhabit and are present in squares, parks, on lawns and flower-beds, in recreation areas, which affects sanitary condition, appearance, municipal improvements and greenery of urban territories.
 VIDEO CLIPS 5.4_1-5.4_16

Section 5.5 Hordes of stray dogs pull out of dustbins and make off with garbage, which is conducive to rapid breeding of rats and crows that scavenge for remnants of food uneaten by dogs, including food left for the dogs by tender-hearted citizens.
 VIDEO CLIPS 5.5_1-5.5_14

Section 5.6 Hordes of stray dogs on territories of medical institutions.
 VIDEO CLIPS 5.6_1-5.6_7

Section 5.7 Hordes of stray dogs on the territory of industrial, economic, trading, cultural and community facilities.
 VIDEO CLIPS 5.7_1-5.7_34


Topic 6.

A large percentage of stray dogs and homeless cats: gets injured, is in a state of stress, is handled in an inhumane fashion, experiences suffering, pain, fear, dies an excruciating death, propagates in an uncontrolled manner and disappears in an uncontrolled manner.
Such situation does not meet European standards and requirements to the conditions of humane handling of pet animals and humane controlled regulation of their population, formulated, among other thins, in the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.
(see also the appropriate written petitions of citizens, data of monitoring on the death of homeless cats conducted in two Moscow districts during 2000 - 2005)

Section 6.1 Due to a very small percentage of neutered females, there is a large number of puppies in the streets. No small part of these disappers unaccounted for and does not survive.
 VIDEO CLIPS 6.1_1-6.1_19

Section 6.2 The percentage of injured and deseased stray dogs is high.
 VIDEO CLIPS 6.2_1-6.2_15




European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals
Revision - November 1987
125 of the European Treaties Series
(extract)

If a state feels that the population of homeless animals presents a problem to it, it should take legislative or administrative measures to reduce the population by methods that will not cause inevitable pain, suffering or mental sorrow. (Chapter 3. Article 12. 1st paragraph)

Comments:

The existing situation in Moscow contradicts Article 12 (1st paragraph, see above) of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, because:
            1. The population of homeless animals is a serious problem to major cities of the RF, in particular, to Moscow, because according to official data alone of the Federal Supervision Agency for Customer Protection and Human Welfare, in 2005 in Moscow around 40 persons get bitten by stray dogs every day, the bites being of varying degree of gravity, which is comparable with numbers of those injured in road traffic incidents. Besides, over the last 5 years, there have been at least 3 cases of humans bitten to death by stray dogs in Moscow (1 case in 2004, 2 cases in 2005).
            2. The population of homeless cats and stray dogs is being reduced not all by methods that will not cause inevitable pain, suffering or mental sorrow (Art. 12 1st paragraph of the Convention), because:
() homeless cats die on a mass scale as a result of being attacked and chased by stray dogs
(see Topic 4. Sections: 4.1, 4.2, as well as the data of VTSIOMs sociological survey; published results of monitoring of the death of homeless cats in 2 Moscow districts during 2000-2005; written evidence of Moscow dwellers)
(b) stray dogs and homeless cats often run out onto the carriage-way and die under the wheels of vehicles
(see Topic 1. Section 1.2);
(c) there is a great number of injured stray dogs
(see Topic 6. Section 6.2), and according to different independent surveys (e.g. Makarov, Dudnikov, Poyaganov), at least 30% of stray dogs have infectious and parasitic diseases, such as leptospirosis, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis;
(d) stray dogs are a nuisance to so many people, which is why the population regulates stray dog numbers on its own by cruel methods, including poisons, expedient means, weapons, etc.
(see Topic 6. Section 6.2, written evidence of residents, articles in mass media)
            3. The state not at all takes legislative and/or administrative measures needed to reduce the numbers of homeless animals (Art. 12 1st paragraph of the Convention), which becomes clear from the following:
() there is a large number of homeless puppies and kittens, breeding outdoors
(see Topic 4. Section 4.3 and Topic 6. Section 6.1), but disappearing without trace, presumably dying of cruel handling in a matter of a few months;
(b) the package of measures currently applied in Moscow within the framework of Moscow Government decrees No 403-RZP dated 19.07.2001 and No 819-PP dated 01.10.2002, referred to as a municipal sterilization programme:
      - fundamentally is unable to resolve the tasks formulated in the decrees;
      - does not correspond to the main goal of its application formulated in the decrees, i.e. reduce the population of stray dogs and homeless cats(Moscow Government decrees 403-RZP dated 19.07.2001 and 819-PP dated 01.10.2002);
      - according to public audits, the package of measures did not pass the stage of project documentation approval, mandatory for budget-financed purpose-oriented regional and municipal, because documentation in full scope is not available, i.e. results of mandatory state expert reviews; legal, ecological and economic feasibilities of the need for such programme for the city; evidence of the compliance of the programme with stated goals and tasks as well as with programme safety to citizens as users and taxpayers (pursuant to the RF Law On Protection of Consumers Rights), and finally, proofs of mandatory compliance of the programme with the RF expenditure obligations. However, the aforesaid stage of approval is provided for by the RF federal legislation (RF Law On Placement of Orders for the Delivery of Goods, Execution of Works, Provision of Services for State and Municipal Needs" (Art. 1, 3), the RF Fiscal Code (Art. 179), Moscow Law On State Purpose-Oriented Programmes in Moscow" (Art. 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 ).


      For reference: at present, the RF has not signed the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. Yet, pursuant to the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the EU Countries and RF, the RF should seek convergence with the standards existing in the EU countries in the field of environment. Which means that in pursuance of the above international treaty of the RF, Russia should comply with the European standards and requirements of humane handling of pet animals and humane controlled regulation of their numbers, as formulated by the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.


Recommendations for viewing video files of videomonitoring

Copyright and conditions video files distribution.

Copyright to all videomonitoring files
(except some video subjects with appropriate references)
belongs to the author of videomonitoring Svetlana Ilyinskaya.
Video subjects of videomonitoring shall be distributed free of charge with a mandatory reference to the author and source:
www.AnimalsProtectionTribune.ru.

The day of publication of videomonitoring on site www.AnimalsProtectionTribune.ru is
October 4, 2007 (International Day of Protection of Animals).

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