MOSCOW, January 26 (RAPSI) – A bill has been submitted to the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, to prohibit debt collectors from seizing pets, TASS reported on Monday, citing a lawmaker with A Just Russia party Oleg Mikheyev, the bill’s author.

Pet seizing is “a psychological pressure comparable to hostage taking,” the agency quoted Mikheyev as having said. “The more people default on their debts due to the recession, the more willing debt collectors will be to use this measure.”

Under the current wording of the Code of Civil Procedure, recourse cannot be taken on animals that are not used for commercial purposes, the lawmaker added.

Nevertheless, debt collectors often seize pets because it has turned out to be an effective measure. For example, the owner of a Persian cat in the Far East repaid his debt the same day to ensure the release of his pet.

Mikheyev said that the previous Code of Civil Procedure, which was effective until 1993, included a list of about 300 property items that cannot be seized for debt. It included “one bed, bed sheets, winter clothes and pets,” he said, adding that he suggests reviving this reasonable approach.