Moscow city hall okays animals bill

Moscow city government at a meeting Tuesday approved a city draft law 'On Animals.' Head of the City Department of Public Utilities and City Improvement, Nikolai Pavlov, made a case for a speedy passage of the bill by citing data of the Serbsky State Scientific Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry. The data indicate that of the 135 felons convicted of homicide polled, 118 tortured animals in childhood.

In 41 articles, the bill sets out rules that ban beating animals, carrying out veterinary procedures on them without prior anesthetizing, using them as weapons of criminal offenses, and even separating monogamous animals forming stable couples. Fines will be imposed on citizens breaching any of these requirements.

Interestingly, the article governing the keeping of more than one pet at a time mandates that the owner pay heed to their compatibility and hierarchical relationships. The bill also defines the notion of a 'companion animal' - one a human being feels a particular attachment to, similar to family bonds. The draft law states it is "inadmissible to use companion animals to obtain meat and fur" and "forbidden to walk them for minors and persons in a state of alcoholic or narcotic intoxication."

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