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Plan to deport Moscow's stray dogs scrapped, say activists

Animal rights activists claiming a ‘small victory’ over city officials, saying that the proposal to send thousands of stray dogs out of the city has been dropped.

An apparently stray dog rides on the Moscow subway.
An apparently stray dog rides on the Moscow subway.
Image: AP Photo/Anna Shevelyova

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS in Russia claim they have succeeded in encouraging authorities to change their plans to deport thousands of stray dogs from Moscow.

City authorities had announced they planned to round up thousands of stray dogs and send them to a camp about 250km outside the city.

However, animal rights groups claimed that the dogs’ health was at risk because sending them into a strange environment would leave them open to disease.

Although Moscow officials have not confirmed the report, one activist told the AP that the deportation plan was off the city’s agenda and a “small victory” had been won.

Activists now want to introduce special taxes for dog breeders to discourage increasing the number of strays, and to promote dog sterilization programmes.

Moscow spent around €32.5m on methods to reduce the city’s stray dog population between 2008 and 2009, including dog shelters and sterilization, but some people have claimed much of the money remains unaccounted for.

- AP

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