Russian Human Rights Council welcomes toughening penalties for animal abuse
MOSCOW, December 14 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) - Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights has welcomed adoption of a bill tightening punishment for cruelty to animals up to 5 years in prison, the statement published on the advisory body’s website reads.
The Council’s Chairman Mikhail Fedotov said that the State Duma heeded a proposal of human rights advocates and backed an amendment stipulating criminal penalty for pain-infliction to animals.
On Wednesday, the lower house of Russia’s parliament passed the bill in the third and final reading.
The bill fixes penalty of up to 3 years in prison for animal abuse. If the crime is committed in presence of a child, by a group of people in collusion, or with display in media including the Internet, it would be punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
The draft law also stipulates alternative penalty such as fines, community service and supervised release, which would provide individualization of punishment depending on crimes’ nature and level of public danger, identity of a criminal, mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
The initiative was triggered by numerous petitions lodged by citizens, social and animal rights organizations, and repeated violent incidents with regard to animals, one of the bill’s authors, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Ecology and Environment Protection Vladimir Burmatov said earlier.
Burmatov considers toughened punishment for cruelty to animals as a preventive measure.