Russian ban on blood-chilling ‘contact baiting’ of hunting dogs comes into force

Russian ban on blood-chilling ‘ baiting’ of hunting dogs comes into force Following heated discussion and a conflict between the upper and lower chambers of parliament, Russia has eventually introduced the law banning ‘live baiting’ – the training of hunting dogs using live captured wild animals.

The changes were announced on Tuesday on the Russian State Duma’s website. The bill was passed by the State Duma in February this year and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in early March.

“Today, the law banning ‘ baiting’ comes into force. It completely bans the cruel and bloody methods of hunting dogs’ training. Torture of animals during baiting must stop – the hunting dog and the wild animal will be divided with a mesh or some other structure that would prevent one animal from being tormented by the other,” State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said.

“It was a matter of principle for the State Duma to press for this law to be passed. I remind you that back then we encountered resistance, but managed to overcome it and the principles of the humane treatment of animals prevailed,” Volodin added.

The State Duma chief spoke of the situation that developed in February when the bill on baiting stations, already passed by the Lower House, met serious resistance in the Upper House of the Russian Parliament – the Federation Council. The senators argued that if the bill was passed it would harm the breeding of hunting dogs and also warned against getting rid of age-old methods of dog training, especially in regions where hunting still remains a means of subsistence rather than an expensive sport.

The conflict in the parliament has attracted even more public and media attention to the already-controversial motion. Activists and Russian environmentalist movements staged protests and urged the lawmakers to change the bill into an even more restrictive document while foreign mass media used the controversy in their ongoing criticism of Russian authorities, despite the fact that baiting stations are used all over the world.

Eventually, the two chambers of parliament agreed to form a conciliatory commission and it secured the passing of the draft which ordered staff of baiting stations to put a glass or mesh barrier between the trained dogs and the captured animals.

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