STOP cruel animal baiting!
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According to animal rights activists in Russia Baiting stations which are euphemisticly called Test and Training stations (TTS) are springing and flourishing in Russia. However, unlike in most Western countries, in Russia the law does not limit their activities.
Hibernation is a luxury that bear Masha can only dream of. She does not have rest even in retirement after many years of service in a circus. The former actress has to play a new role of a live bait for hunting dogs. And this role is the one unto death.
Supporters of live baiting often form closed communities. The ads emphasize: only for club members. Perhaps, because they understand that most people would not approve of such monstrosity. Last weekend I was almost locked in a shed with foxes and raccoons in TTS Fryazevo (the Moscow region), when I tried to take a picture of them. The exit was blocked by an employee of that institution. Being surrounded by a bunch of hunters, he kept shouting: ‘Granolas are here again!’
- Let's tell everyone that she has stolen something, and that's that - the smartest chuckled.
And you do want to steal them all - worn foxes and raccoons sitting in cramped, filthy cages with their limply dangling legs, bitten tails. Their wool is tufted, they are sitting among terrible stench, with their eyes harried...
An even sadder story is the one of bear Masha, who has been a live bait here for 10 years. The so called ‘granolas’ found her and raised the alarm. Masha once served in a circus. Today she has to huddle in a tiny pen. During the baiting days she runs along a short circuit enchained, trying to dodge her lean hips away from the teeth of angry dogs.
Everything happens in the pen almost naturally. But there is a difference: ‘decoy’ animals can neither escape nor defend themselves. Many of them have their fangs and claws removed so that they do not injure expensive dogs. Some of them have their paws smitten or bitten through. Wolves have a piece of wood inserted between their teeth (there is a jargon term for it – sostrunivat’), so that they cannot bite; bears are put on a rope with a heavy block which restricts their movement to a very limited area. Sometimes they use cubs unable to fight back – fox-pups or leverets.
Badgers, raccoons and foxes are put in specially constructed wooden holes and dogs are set on them. When dogs reach an animal, they tear it apart with their teeth. Animals suffer; they experience pain, stress and constant fear.
Dogs can train any day. One baiting costs only 5 euros. For the money a dog has 10 minutes to inflict the maximum number of bites.
Baiting stations invite guests. They advertise their services on billboards, in newspapers, magazines and on Internet sites. The ads, however, never mention a service that is well known to the patrons of such places. If a customer so desires, his/her dogs will torment a tied bear or a boar until it dies. The price for such a baiting will be higher.
Hundreds of baiting stations function in Russia lawfully because there is NO law prohibiting their activities.
The Civil Code of the Russian Federation defines animals as property of a citizen. Article 137 of the Civil Code states:
‘General property regulations are applied to animals, because the law or other regulations do not provide otherwise. Cruelty to animals that is contrary to the principles of humanity is not allowed in the exercise of such rights.’
In the European Union animals are considered to be a special object of the right of a sentient being that are able to suffer pains.
Almost all European countries outlaw baiting stations. When such stations are allowed, a wild animal is unendangered. For example, glass is put in the training hole so that the dogcan see and feel the fox, but cannot bite it.
I invite you to have a look at the videos made by the central TV channel about a baiting station in Russia:
and at an article written by newspaper Express Gazeta Online:
Hunting regulations in the Russian Federation determine that dog owners are legally responsible for the damage caused to the State Hunting Fund by their dogs, except for the cases of dog training carried out in the established order.
I ask all concerned people to join me in demanding:
(i) the adoption of an Act prohibiting the activities of Test and Training stations in Russia which render commercial services of baiting,
(ii) introduction of strict liabilities for violations of the law,
(iii) confiscation of the trained bear Masha from TTS Fryazevo,
(iv) prosecution of the head of the TTS Fryazevo for cruelty to animals for over 10 years.
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