February 20, 2007
About 100 animal rights activists and pet owners rallied Wednesday on
Pushkin Square to protest what they called a city plan to destroy
thousands of stray dogs and cats.
Mayor Yury Luzhkov signed a law five years ago that prohibits the
killing of stray animals and requires authorities instead to castrate
or spay them. But protesters said a City Hall department planned to
soften the ban to allow strays deemed aggressive, ill or disabled to
be put to sleep.
"They will simply kill all the stray animals on their territories if
the proposal is approved," said Irina Novozhilova, head of Vita, an
animal rights organization.