For more than a year, dog-owners have been worried about so-called “dog-hunters,” or, speaking a more common language, knackers. On December 13, lawyers, law enforcement and animal rights defenders discussed technologies of countering sadists.
In the first turn, they were speaking about perfection of the law and law enforcement practices. To do this, last November, the CC had established a working group on the issues of animal abuse. Its Lead, Civic Chamber Member Bogdan Novorok, said that “dog murderers are more than just sporadic manifestoes but a whole movement, a social network. I am impressed with the scale of their activities and the fact that no legal assessment had been ever given to knackers’ activities. Not a single criminal case had been brought to court, while proofs were obvious,” the Civic Chamber Member pointed.
Zoo sadists killed dozens and hundreds of animals all over Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Not only homeless dogs, but also cats, squirrels, pigeons, crows, and the last still existing in cities falcons and owls get under unlawful shooting and poisoning. The special cynicism of the knackers is that they add antiemetic agent to the poisoning substance isoniazid, and there is no way to save animals. They die in painful convulsions. Besides this, recently, a small child got poisoned in a park in St. Petersburg.
In the majority of cases, the police deny filing a criminal case. Even if dog owners provided with a medical examination (it costs from 10 to 17 thousand rubles), this is no guarantee that law enforcement structures would intervene.
Article 245 of the Criminal Code foresees a far too mild, in the opinion of animal defenders, punishment for animal abuse. Proposals to increase punishment to up to two years of prison were expressed at the Civic Chamber. If an offence was committed by a group of people by previous concert, then it might be up to 4 years. Besides this, as it follows from expert conclusions of psychology and criminal law experts, animal abuse is an indication of psychic diseases. This means that “dog-hunters” should be registered at out-patient psychiatric facilities.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a small and blood-wild army. Skinheads can stay in peace,” Civic Chamber expert Alexander Kazakov addressed the assembly. “They cut swastikas on dogs still alive. Where is such atrocity coming from? And why is it swastika?”
Numerous screenshots of dog-hunters’ correspondences at their official site confirm his words; the site is still in operation. They describe in details how many animals they killed and how exactly they were doing this; how they were carrying their cut off heads in their cars to be paid for.
“Who’s paying the money?” animal defenders asked. They expressed their supisions that some municipalities might resolve the problem of getting rid of stray dogs in such a way.