Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of over 50 Russian cities to protest against cruelty to stray animals as part of the “Russia without cruelty” campaign.
They expressed their indignation at the methods used to regulate the stray population, which they believe are inhumane.
They say local authorities prefer shooting or killing stray pets with lethal drugs rather then sterilizing them.
Activists have also demanded the adoption of a federal law on protecting pets against cruel treatment, as well as measures regulating breeding. They claim that the current legislation does not work.
“Criminal liability for animal abuse is foreseen only in article 245 of the criminal code. However, due to the fact that the article is legally illiterate, the cases when punishment is imposed under the article are rare. Most often, the defendants get away with a small fine,” said a representative from the Save the Animals information center.