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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


VITA reacts

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 get no
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 the issue.

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 info agency.

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 to VITA.

"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 submissions.

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 Britain
Anna Parizhskaya: arts specialist, Great Britain
Daniel Richardson: author, arts specialist, Great Britain
VITA

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 2004.

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 newsletter.


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 agency.

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 forever.

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 VITA.


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 in Russia
- 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 of Russia".


--Tanya Maroueva



Наверх


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ХОТЯТ УЗАКОНИТЬ
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Лучший аргумент
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