Russia has vowed to stop killing stray dogs that roam the country’s streets ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Instead, temporary kennels will be set up for the homeless animals to prevent them from getting too close to fans visiting for the football fiesta.
There were fears that the dogs, which will be vaccinated and neutered while in termporary care, could attack supporters.
Vladimir Burmatov, chairman of the committee for ecology and environmental protection, said a number of people had complained about the inhumane approach to dealing with strays.
He told the Parliamentary Gazette: ‘This is a matter of reputation for our country, because we are not savages who kill animals on the streets, throw their bloodied corpses into cars and carry them around the city.’
He added: ‘I’ll give you some quotation: 6,000-9,000 rubles (£80-£120) are taken for killing one dog.
‘For this money, it is possible to safely catch, vaccinate and sterilise.’
Mr Burmatov launched an appeal to sports minister Pavel Kolobkov, who said the animals would be caught and not killed.
It is thought that about two million stray animals live in the World Cup’s host cities.