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Daghestani activists collect signatures against mass shooting of stray animals

23 February 2017

About 2,000 signatures were collected in several hours on 21 February for a petition against the shooting of stray dogs. The mass shooting and poisoning began in Makhachkala after the death of a child, allegedly from dog bites.

The body of a nine-year-old girl was found in a vacant lot in the Reduktorny District of Makhachkala. Multiple bites and lacerations were found on the child’s body. According to investigators, employees of the Office of Housing and Communal Services are to blame, and a criminal case has been opened for causing death by negligence.

‘It happened in connection with the improper performance of officials from the Office of Housing and Communal Services of Makhachkala regarding their responsibility to catch stray animals’, Rasul Temirbekov, head of the press service of the Investigative Committee of Russia in Daghestan told RGVK Dagestan.

The day after the incident, a mass shooting of stray dogs began in the city. Social network users began to publish pictures of dead animals, urging the local authorities to stop the brutality.

‘People responsible for this crime should be punished, for the tears of this girl who had her dog killed, a dog which was sterilised and which was loved by the whole street, especially children. Since the morning, our children have been crying in distress… The Almighty sees everything… I hope those who are shooting them will die the same death as well as those who steal money from the budget allocated for catching, sterilising, and chipping… Shame!’ Facebook user Aygum Gitinov wrote.

Journalist and human rights activist Svetlana Anokhina signed the petition against the killing of stray dogs. According to her, the mass shooting is a form of ‘entertainment’ for the shooters.

‘It’s a disaster. Such things shouldn’t happen, even more so in front of people’s eyes. In one city two girls are being tried for torturing and killing puppies, while in another city, [the authorities] are organising a safari for hunters. Regardless of how this unlucky child died, such violence is unacceptable, even more so in our beautiful society, where people themselves are a half-step away from going wild. I am more than confident that this huge number of hunters simply got the go-ahead to fulfil their urge to kill. It’s a form of entertainment for them — a channel approved by society to realise their dark passions’, Anokhina told OC Media.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Consumers Protection and Human Welfare of Daghestan published statistics on the number of victims of animal bites.

‘Over the past year 4,852 people suffered from animal bites in the Republic of Daghestan (in 2015 the number was 4,812), of which 1,832 cases concerned children under 14 years old. The highest number of cases were registered in the following cities: Yuzhno-Sukhokumsk, Kizlyar, Kizilyurt, Dagestanskiye Ogni, as well as in Kumtorkala, Kuli, Derbent, and Sergokala districts’, the statement reads.

On 22 February, the authorities in Makhachkala announced on their website that a shelter for animals would be created in Makhachkala’s Lelinkent District in the coming days. However, the shooting of animals continues.

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