Russia will stop killing stray dogs before 2018 World Cup

Russia is changing its policy of killing stray dogs and instead will lock them in temporary kennels before the World Cup this summer in case they attack football supporters.

Kennels were built after an MP complained to the sports minister about the random killing of homeless dogs.

Vladimir Burmatov, head of the duma’s ecology and environmental protection committee, told Parlamentskaya Gazeta that the “alarming signals” had to stop. “This a question of the reputation of our country, because we are not savages, committing mass murder of animals on the streets, tossing their bloodied corpses into vehicles and driving them around town,” he said.

There are about two million stray cats and dogs in Russia. It is not known how many are roaming the 11 cities that will host World Cup matches in June and July.

The authorities in Sochi were criticised in 2014 when they hired a pest control company to kill hundreds of strays before the Winter Olympics. Mr Burmatov said that it cost between 6,000 roubles (£80) and 9,000 roubles to kill a dog. “For that money you can easily catch, vaccinate and sterilise an animal and keep it in a holding centre.”

Pavel Kolobkov, the sports minister, said that host cities would be instructed to “avoid measures that could be evaluated as cruel treatment of animals and provoke a negative reaction in society”.

Dogs caught close to stadiums will be housed in temporary kennels.

Source: The Times