RUSSIAN VETS FORCED TO OPERATE
ON ANIMALS WITHOUT ANAESTHETICS!
Read animal rights news from Russia in
The newsletter of the Russian animal rights organisation VITA
1, 2004 (January, February, March)
In this issue:
- operations on animals without anaesthetics?
- furs in Russia: nightmare or gleam?
- VITA campaigns to help Moscow strays
- other news
RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES PERSECUTE VETS
FOR ANAETHSITHING ANIMALS BEFORE OPERATIONS
A woman calls Moscow veterinarian Konstantin Sadovedov. She urges
Konstantin to come to her place to spay her cat.
At 12.40 the next day Konstantin is there. A woman and a man meet
Konstantin, take him to the kitchen and bring the cat. When Konstantin
is prepared to inject the cat with anaesthetics, the man stops him.
He says he works for the Committee on Drug Control, and is holding
a drug control inspection.
Konstantin Sadovedov was going to use the drugs Ketamine and Rometar
to anaesthize the cat. Ketamine is totally essential to achieve
full and qualitative anaesthesia of an animal. But… in practice
it is forbidden for veterinary use in Russia!
The inspectors of the drug committee arranged this set up to catch
Konstantin red-handed while using Ketamine. All the actions of the
unaware veterinarian have been filmed with a hidden camera. The
drug control inspectors invited witnesses, and confiscated Konstantin's
phial with Ketamine and the syringe.
Konstantin Sadovedov, who only performed his duty as a vet, is now
being tried. He is charged with illegal drug spreading through "injection
to a cat". The Drug Control Committee simply don't see the absurdity
of their accusation.
This case is not exceptional. Numerous veterinary clinics have been
searched throughout the whole country, individual vets - trapped
like Konstantin, searched, and a number of them - persecuted.
Ketamine has been illegal for veterinary use since 1998. However
the drug is totally essential to anaesthize an animal. Vets used
it illegally. There has never been any kind of control.
In autumn 2003 The Drug Circulation Control Committee was established
in Russia. The committee immediately launched a campaign to fight
drug use. Instead of fighting real crime, the Committee inspectors
turned to an easy and a quick target - vets, who are practically
obliged to use Ketamine illegally.
As a result sick animals can't be operated on, and die. VITA has
got several alarming messages about the attempts of some vets to
operate on immobilised animals without any anaesthesia.
On December 25, 2003 VITA held her first press-conference on the
issue. The problem received mass coverage in the media. For weeks
VITA, organisations HUMAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT and ZOOINFORM, Moscow
vets and others continued their pressure on the responsible Ministries:
Ministry of Agriculture and Health Ministry, and other involved
state institutions. Brigitte Bardot appealed to the Russian president
personally. The whole issue of Ketamine became extensively spoken
about in general.
As a result in January 2004 the mentioned ministries lifted the
ban of Ketamine. BUT: there is a condition. Every vet has to get
a license to use the drug. However it is not clear which authoritative
body has to issue the licenses.
Ministries shift the responsibility to each other. As a result vets
licenses at all. Instead the Ministry of Drug Control is still persecuting
the accused vets. The circle of absurdity closed again.
In practice this means that Ketamine is still forbidden for veterinary
use. The authorities made this "smart" step of fake legalisation
of Ketamine to draw the media and the public attention away from
However VITA continued her pressure. On January 22 VITA and HUMAN
RIGHTS MOVEMENT held the second press-conference on the Ketamine
problem. The issue was covered by 3 TV-channels, 2 radio channels,
6 newspapers and 8 info agencies.
In January-February a group of Moscow vets and VITA collected signatures
of Russian celebrities under a letter to the chairman of the Russian
government Mr. Kasianov. The letter was sent on January 29 and urged
Mr. Kasianov to resolve the problem of issuing licences for vets.
The media was informed. Mr. Kasianov hasn't replied.
On March 10 VITA held her third press-conference. 4 radio channels
and a TV channel were present, alongside with 7 newspaper journalists
and an info agency representative.
… The first hearing of Konstantin Sadovedov's case took place on
March 11. Thirty VITA activists, vets, representatives of various
Moscow organisations, and individuals gathered in front of the court
building for a peaceful action. "Russia persecutes vets for performing
their medical duty?" - ran one of VITA placards. The action was
covered by 4 TV-channels, 11 radio channels, 7 newspapers and an
The second hearing of Sadovedov's case will take place on April
6. VITA will hold another demonstration in front of the court building.
At this moment the Ketamine issue is still very acute. We will continue
our struggle, and will keep you posted.
OVER 3200 YOUNG PARTICIPANTS OF ANTI-FUR COMPETITIONS GAVE THEIR
HEARTS TO ANIMALS
VITA's telephones, e-mail and fax have been glowing from uncountable
calls and messages for many weeks now. Over 3200 participants of
two anti-fur competitions have been eager to register themselves,
or find out the details of the competitions. The VITA team has become
nothing less but a 24 hour anti-fur competitions consulting service.
VITA competition among schoolchildren for the best drawing
and composition against furs
A beautiful forest. A gorgeous fox is sitting next to a smiling
girl. The girl is drawing the fox. "It's better to draw than to
kill!" - calls to people Katya Cherdakova, 9 years old, with her
unforgettable drawing against furs.
Katya is one of 3000 participants of VITA competition among schoolchildren
for the best drawing and composition against furs. 150 schools registered
for the competition. VITA sent out the video film "Let Them Live!"
of THE EUROPEAN FEDERATION FOR NATURE AND ANIMALS and educational
materials on furs to the registered schools.
Schoolchildren and teenagers watched the film during the lesson
devoted to the anti-fur topic, and read the educational materials.
They expressed their impression on what they had seen and read in
1500 drawings and 1500 compositions. The pupils sent their works
"Not everybody is capable of killing - writes Alena Kruschintseva,
14 years old, in her composition. - Not everybody can even watch
the scene of killing. But when we buy furs, we support killings
performed by others. We are accessories. Killings will go on until
we realise that."
The team of judges lead by Brigitte Bardot is now choosing the winning
The judges of the competition are:
Brigitte Bardot: Brigitte Bardot Foundation, France (chair)
Julia Dolgorukova: artist, Russia
Elena Kamburova: singer, actress, theatre manager, Russia
Elena Kasian: artist, Sweden
Fiona Oakes: author, Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, Great
Anna Parizhskaya: arts specialist, Great Britain
Daniel Richardson: author, arts specialist, Great Britain
The winners will be awarded in Moscow by a famous Russian actress
and singer Elena Kamburova. VITA will keep you posted on all the
developments in the next issue of our newsletter.
Design Against Fur!
Fur Free Alliance Student Poster Competition
Over 200 students from Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and
Kyrgyzstan registered for the competition. As a member of the Fur
Free Alliance, VITA manages the registrations in Russia and a number
of ex-Soviet republics, and advises the participants in these countries.
(Ukrainian organisation CETA LIFE registered students in the Ukraine).
Among the registered students there are many future fashion designers,
journalists, artists, architects, etc.
Students are designing posters against fur trim. A team of professional
judges will evaluate the posters of European students in Great Britain.
European, and then international winners will be chosen by autumn
VITA is totally pleased with the irrepressible motivation of many
students in Russia and overseas. The VITA-team wishes them good
luck at the competition! More news in the next issue of the VITA
PETA publicity board and VITA anti-fur action on Moscow Champs-Elysees
On January 24 VITA held an anti-fur action and spread anti-fur leaflets
on Moscow Champs-Elysees - Tverskaya street. The event was timed
to the opening ceremony of a huge anti-fur publicity board on the
street, organised by PETA. The opening ceremony and the action were
covered by 3 TV stations, 4 newspapers, a radio station and an info
No fur - children make their choice!
On February 11 and March 30 VITA held lessons on the cruelty of
fur production at a Moscow secondary school, and at an arts school
for children. VITA representatives showed the film "Let them live!"
and told the 14-15 year-olds the truth about fur production. The
result was astounding! Many teenagers said they would reject furs
Popular Russian TV program "Vremechko" filmed the lesson of February
11 and made a program on it on February 16.
Popular TV channel RTR filmed the lesson of March 30 for the coming
anti-fur and anti-hunting TV program produced in cooperation with
ANIMAL MALTREATMENT SHOULD BE PUNISHED!
People should learn to fulfil their obligations towards animals
- believes VITA. Widely spread in Russia cases of animal maltreatment
shouldn't remain unpunished. VITA investigated and lodged a police
complaint on two cases of severe animal maltreatment:
The wrong way to resolve the stray overpopulation problem
On a February morning a metro cleaner found a sleeping stray dog
inside a metro station. The woman didn't want any strays around.
She spurted bleaching chemical chlorine into the dog's eyes. The
cleaner thought this would scare the animal away.
The dog went blind. VITA was alarmed.
VITA activists took the dog to a vet. The vet started the treatment.
He gave VITA an official statement that the dog went blind due to
a chemical burn.
With this document and the statements of witnesses VITA made a police
complaint. Police investigates the case. Popular newspaper "Zhizn"
covered the whole incident.
VITA activists had been bringing the dog to the vet for several
weeks. Her eyesight has completely restored by now.
Who killed the dogs?
Two strays lived in a yard of a huge apartment building. Local residents
loved the dogs and fed them. The strays didn't bother anybody.
On a February morning they were found dead. Who would kill the dogs?
There are no witnesses, the case is unclear.
VITA made a police complaint, and the case is being investigated.
Previously Russian police would never bother with investigating
cases of animal maltreatment. They usually do not take such complaints
seriously. Now VITA insists on official investigations of cases
of brutality towards animals. Media interest in the previously unheard
of police investigations helps spread the message that people should
adapt a responsible attitude towards non-human animals.
SARS: VITA AGAINST MASS SLAUGHTER OF ANIMALS IN CHINA
On January 6 VITA sent an open letter of protest against mass slaughter
of cats in China to the info agency Interfax. This step gave way
to much media interest to the problem, and helped raise public awareness
of the issue.
On January 13 VITA sent a letter of protest to the ambassador of
China in Russia Mr.Lu Gu Chan.
RUSSIAN TELEVISION WOSHIPS CRUELTY TOWARDS ANIMALS. VITA REACTS.
In February two leading Russian TV stations broadcast programs that
worshipped hunting and Muslim ritual animal sacrifices. VITA directors
called the managers of the programmes. VITA explained that worshipping
brutality on TV leads to compassion fatigue and cruelty among people.
VITA urged the programme managers not to publicly praise animal
maltreatment in the programmes any more. The managers gave their
full consent. (February 6, channel RTR, programme "Muslims"; February
15, channel NTV, programme "Namedni")
VITA STRIVES TO RAISE PEOPLE'S AWARENESS
OF ANIMAL RIGHTS ISSUES THROUGH THE MEDIA
Throughout the last three months VITA gave a large number of interviews
on various animal-related issues, especially in the problem of Ketamine.
Here are some examples:
- radio channel "Voice of America" broadcast an interview with the
VITA director Elena Maroueva on the problem of fur wearing and production
- BBC radio talked to the VITA president Irina Novozhilova on various
animal-related issues in Russia
- Radio channel "Deutsche Welle" (German Wave) interviewed Irina
on the problem of Ketamine
- Newspaper "The Guardian" covered the issue of Ketamine as well
- February 16: a TV program "Vremechko" covered the problem of fur
wearing and production
- February 19: VITA took part in the talk show "Chastnaya zhizn"
devoted to vegetarianism.
- February 3: Elena, Irina and VITA activist Konstantin Sabinin
talked about furs, hunting and the problem of Ketamine on "The radio