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In Russia, the law on the protection of animals from cruel treatment came into force. Amendments to the Criminal Code provide for tougher liability for flayers.

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Other innovations – the Federal Law “On Responsible Treatment of Animals and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation”, aimed at protecting animals from human cruelty, was adopted by the State Duma on February 18, 2018. The current text of the document can be downloaded at the end of the article. Latest news and analytics in the article.

Animal Abuse – Definition

For the development of this law, the deputies took after numerous petitions and rallies calling for the protection of animals from reprisals. The need to introduce tougher sanctions for such crimes was also announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The question became especially acute after a high-profile case in Khabarovsk: two girls killed animals and laid out scenes of reprisals on the Internet. According to the decision of the court, the livejourners from Khabarovsk are serving their time in prison today. The public considered the unjustifiably lenient sentence for killing animals — specifically, under this article, girls were sentenced to compulsory work, they received a real term of imprisonment for other crimes imputed to them (robbery, insulting the feelings of believers and humiliation of human dignity).

The draft law on amendments to article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and articles 150 and 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation was ready by November 2017, and on December 13, State Duma deputies had already passed the law on animal cruelty in final reading. On the day of publication, December 20, the new law came into force.

The current version of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation treats cruelty to animals as perpetrated by mercenary motives or from hooliganism actions:

  • with the intention of causing pain or suffering to the animal;
  • caused his death or injury.

The new qualifying sign, which contains the updated article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, is cruel treatment of animals “in order to inflict pain and (or) suffering on it”.

How much has the animal protection law tightened the punishment?

In 2018, a perpetrator of animal abuse may receive a prison sentence of up to three years. Such a sentence will follow if there are aggravating circumstances in the criminal case or if the defendant has previously committed similar acts.

Depending on the nature of the crime, the degree of its danger to society, the personality of the accused, the court may decide otherwise:

  • to recover up to 80,000 rubles in fine or semi-annual income of the convict;
  • assign mandatory or correctional work (up to 360 hours and up to one year, respectively);
  • limit freedom to 12 months;
  • take into custody for six months.

The Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation does not provide for liability for inhuman treatment of animals, but the relevant clause contains some regional CAO.

Maximum term under article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

A tougher sanction, up to serving in a colony of three to five years (before making changes – up to two years), will follow if there are such signs:

  • crime committed with accomplices;
  • the witness of violence was juvenile or the criminals showed particular cruelty during the massacre (transferred from another part of this article to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation);
  • broadcasting scenes of torturing an animal and demonstrating the consequences of a crime in the media, the Internet and other sites;
  • the mass nature of animal killing.

The last two points introduced a new law on animal cruelty, they were not in the previous version of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Legislators transferred such crimes to the category of moderate severity because of the significant damage they cause to public morality. Instead of investigators, investigators of the internal affairs bodies will investigate such cases – the corresponding amendment has been made to the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation.

Alternatives to imprisonment:

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  • a fine from 100,000 to 300,000 rubles, or in the amount of income received by the defendants for an annual or two-year period;
  • correctional labor up to two years (the previous version of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation provided for mandatory work up to 480 hours);
  • forced labor up to five years (before making changes – up to two years).

The text of Art. 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, as amended and commented, was published on the Garant legal information portal.

Other innovations

The new law on the protection of animals in Russia also amended the article

Animal Responsibility Act

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In 2018, the State Duma considered another long-awaited bill (Project No. 458458-5), which includes requirements for keeping homeless animals in shelters, and wild animals in nurseries; duties that pet owners must perform, dog walking rules and other requirements. This is a draft of the so-called law “On the responsible handling of animals.” In 2018, on December 18, the second and third hearing of the document took place. The law is adopted.

The fate of this project lawmakers can not decide from 2010: after approval in March 2011, the first draft of the law was followed by a long break, work resumed in 2016, but the document was stuck in the Duma committees and went to the second reading only in 2018.

It came to the point that the animal defenders, dissatisfied with the inaction of the authorities, in November 2017 declared an indefinite hunger strike at the walls of the State Duma.

Draft Federal Law “On Responsible Treatment of Animals” – text – law on responsible attitude to animals, adopted in the third reading (No. 458458-5)

However, one point of this draft law is a ban to set hunting dogs on tethered game (contact trailing) – in 2017, deputies singled out a separate document in the form of amendments to the law on hunting. The decision on the initiative, one of the authors of which was State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, was made in a short time – a little more than two weeks passed from the day of registration in the lower house (December 6) until approval in the third reading (December 21). But the senators did not go to tightening the law on hunting: the Federation Council rejected the document, proposing to assemble a conciliation commission to finalize it.

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