On the 11th day of hunger strike Russian animal welfare activist Vera Stepanova (Вера Степанова) collapsed next to entrance of State Duma, and was taken to hospital by ambulance on a stretcher. Yuri Yesman (Koretskih) continues the strike, supported by group of activists, who demand promised earlier this year a comprehensive laws package on ‘Responsible ownership of animals’ to be adopted without further delay.
Till present the package of animal protection laws, prepared in President Yeltsin era in a wake of rapprochement with the West, has been blocked by President Putin’s administration for 17 year. Meanwhile animal abuse came to a critical point, causing public outrage: the groups of sadists called dog-hunters are shooting, poisoning and chopping stray dogs and cats alive.
Special concern of animal welfare defenders caused spreading fashion for ‘snuff’ videos depicting torture and groesome murder of cats and dogs. In the most shocking case of girls from Far East city of Khabarovsk, entertaining themselves filming perverse torture and killings of puppies and kittens, known as ‘Khabarovsk rippers’, the culprits were not adequately punished for the crimes in absence of a proper legislation. Not the least the general ‘humane’ attitude of Russian authorities towards animal abusers to be mentioned among reasons causing public outrage. (WARNING! Disturbing graphic below)
For torture and murders of numerous animals ‘Khabarovsk rippers’ Aliona Savchenko and Alina Orlova were condemned to 150 hours of works. The public outcry and indignation by the decision of the Court once again demonstrated the failure of Russian legislators to produce contemporary and adequate rules for animal protection against human cruelty.
The protest hunger strike by activists Vera, and Yuri aims at demanding the urgent adoption of a comprehensive package of laws. This year motion prepared by deputy Vladimir Panov (United Russia) received a lot of criticism, and was returned for improvement. One of the point causing negative reactions of the animal rights activists was the adoption of practice of sterilisation, and return of animals to the streets. Many activists considered that proposal ineffective, and “uncivilised”, claiming that cats and dogs are domestic animals, and should not be released to the streets, but kept in shelters in view for adoption.
Image: Animal rights activist Vera Stepanova at Moscow hospital, recovering after collapse next to entrance of Russian State Duma. After her hospitalisation the founder and chair of Alliance for Animals – Yuri Yesman – continues the hunger strike alone.