MILLIONS OF RUSSIANS WITNESSED
THE CRUELTIES OF FUR PRODUCTION
Read animal rights news from Russia in
The newsletter of the Russian Animal Rights Centre VITA
2, 2005 (April-August)
Welcome! In this issue:
- Shocking footage on fur production on the Russian national TV
- Developments in the Design Against Fur competition
- Ukraine sets limits on hunting. And Russia?
- More animal friendly scholars and professors
- Developments in the conflict between professors of the Moscow
State University and an animal friendly student
- New animal rights video
- Yes to stray sterilisation! No to murder!
- New vet prosecutions for the use of medical drugs
- Another vegan baby born
- Other news
SHOCKING FOOTAGE ON FUR PRODUCTION
ON RUSSIAN NATIONAL TV
April 19, 2005, St. Petersburg: PETA and VITA held a press conference
"Shocking unmasking of furriers as St. Petersburg fur auction
begins." The event anticipated the St.Petersburg fur auction.
During the press conference PETA and VITA showed sensational footage
of the cruelties towards animals filmed with a hidden camera on
Chinese fur farms. Chinese furs overflow the markets all over
After witnessing the footage of the animals skinned alive even
those journalists who were planning to defend furriers changed
their mind. VITA and PETA supplied the present journalists with
copies of the video.
As a result four leading TV channels showed the footage at popular
times. Two radio channels, written media and info agencies gave
pro-animal rights coverage of the problem.
VITA PROTESTS AGAINST CANADIAN SEAL HUNT:
ANTI-FUR FOOTAGE ON NATIONAL TV AS RESULT
On April 11 VITA sent an open letter to the prime-minister of
Canada and the minister of fishery urging them to ban the seal
hunt in the country. VITA widely informed the media in Russia
of the atrocious hunt.
As a result one of the leading Russian TV channels REN TV gave
excellent pro-animal rights coverage of the seal hunt, and the
problem of fur wearing and production in general.
At popular weekend times REN TV showed heartbreaking footage of
animals being killed for furs, and interviews with famous animal
With the described campaigns VITA purports to educate Russians
on the truth behind the fur production. Millions of Russians have
seen the anti-fur footage that we brought on TV. If even a fraction
of them have decided to stop wearing furs after witnessing these
cruelties, uncountable animal lives will be saved.
GEORGIAN STUDENT SHARES THE THIRD PRIZE
IN THE INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AGAINST FUR COMPETITION
Graphic design student from the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia
Natalia Lazarshvili shared the third prize in the European region
of this year's Design Against Fur (DAF) competition. The jury
commended or highly commended the submissions of five Russian
students and schoolchildren. Our cordial congratulations!
International Fur Free Alliance (FFA) registered over 2000 students
from all over the world for the 2005 DAF contest. VITA is the
FFA affiliate in Russia. This year VITA registered 239 students
and schoolchildren from Russia, and 23 participants from Georgia,
Belorussia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Latvia
for the competition. 155 of the registered participants submitted
posters for the contest. VITA staff are very impressed by the
quality of this year's submissions.
We wish Natalia Lazarshvili a great time during the reward ceremony
in Rome in November. Other participants from Russia and the mentioned
ex-Soviet republics will be rewarded with small souvenirs in autumn
this year. FFA will name one international winner in November.
More information about the competition, and its winners on www.infurmation.com
"NO TO HUNT! UKRAINE SETS LIMITS
TO THE BARBARIC TRADITION. AND RUSSIA…?"
- this was the slogan of VITA's anti-hunt press-conference of
April 27. VITA informed the media of the decision of the president
and the High Council of the Ukraine to ban the spring hunt.
During the press conference VITA appealed to the Russian authorities
to also introduce improvements to the country's imperfect hunting
regulations. VITA explained to the public why hunting is not a
sport, but an atrocity. The media widely covered the problem.
In the press-conference participated: VITA, Vladimir Boreyko of
the Kiev Ecological and Cultural Centre (the Ukraine), writer
Irina Ozyornaya, celebrity music critic Artemiy Troitskiy.
PRO-ANIMAL WELFARE IDEAS GAIN MORE POPULARITY
AMONG RUSSIAN SCHOLARS, PROFESSORS AND VETS
Several years ago it would be impossible to approach most scholars,
professors of life sciences and vets with animal rights issues.
However at this year's Moscow International Vets congress VITA
staff could clearly observe that alternatives to animal experiments
steadily gain more attention.
On April 23 VITA president Irina Novozhilova opened the 3 day
long congress with a speech. She appealed to its 3000 participants
to resort to humane alternatives instead of carrying out animal
In his speech the president of the Association of Practicing Veterinarians
and the organizer of the congress Sergey Sereda supported the
ideas of humane education. Sereda openly criticized two other
speakers who employed painful animal experiments in their work.
VITA and InterNICHE Russia held a large stand at the congress
site with various materials on humane education. During the congress
several professors of life sciences decided to resort to our offer
to lend alternatives from the InterNICHE alternatives loan system
During the congress VITA staff collected 322 signatures of vets
from 70 Russian cities and towns under a petition to the Russian
prime-minister Fradkov. In the petition the signatories appealed
to Mr. Fradkov to urgently resolve the crisis around the use of
the medical drug Ketamine in the veterinary medicine.
VITA REWARDED WITH AN HONOURABLE DIPLOMA
This year the congress organizers introduced the nomination "For
the important contribution to the promotion of animal rights".
VITA staff is very happy to be nominated and receive an honourable
PETITION TO MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY
TO INTRODUCE ALTERNATIVES TO ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS
On May 12-15 VITA director Elena Maroueva who is also the InterNICHE
national contact in Russia took part in the 2d InterNICHE conference
in Oslo. (InterNICHE - the International Network for Humane Education,
www.interniche.org). Elena made a talk "Change and inertia in
Russian life science education."
During the conference Elena collected signatures under a petition
to the Moscow State University (MSU) to introduce humane alternatives
to animal experiments. 60 professors, students and scholars signed
the petition, including such world wide known scholars as Tom
Regan, Marc Bekoff and Jonathan Balcombe.
VITA sent the petition to MSU, and informed the media. As a result
on June 15 famous radio channel "Svoboda" broadcast a program
devoted to the problem of experimenting on animals.
As our readers already know, MSU has been very inert in introducing
alternatives. Biology student and conscienscious objector to animal
experiments Roman Belousov has repeatedly applied to the administration
of the university to provide him with humane alternatives. VITA
and InterNICHE offered MSU help with introducing alternatives.
The university refuses to cooperate, and is for many months threatening
to expel the student. The reason is that Roman refuses to take
part in the practical classes with the painful use of animals.
However so far MSU remains only by the threats, and doesn't expel
the student yet. If it does, Belousov might sue the university.
VITA AND CELEBRITY SINGER A.MARTYNOV
CREATED ANIMAL RIGHTS VIDEO
In July VITA and Alexej Martynov, the singer of the band "Stsenakardiya"
created a sensational animal rights video to one of Alexey's songs.
The video reveals the cruelties behind intensive farming, including
animal transport and slaughter, trapping animals for fur, animal
experiments, ecological catastrophes, etc.
Later in July A.Martynov became a celebrity singer in Russia after
winning the TV competition "5 Stars". For weeks the public and
the jury were one by one dismissing the participants of the competition
while following them in their daily lives on TV. Alexey became
Martynov is a vegan and a raw-fooddist. The singer is determined
to use his sudden popularity to promote animal rights issues.
"YES TO STERILISATION! NO TO MURDER!"
- called the 6 meter long placard at the VITA action to support
the Moscow stray sterilisation program. VITA held the action on
the central Moscow Slavyanskaya square on April 10.
Tens of activists and several dogs formed a half-circle. Activists
were holding national flags of the countries that introduced stray
sterilisation programs, thus symbolising these countries.
In the middle of the half-circle a muzhik (Russian peasant) was
symbolising Russia. He was wearing valenki (old-time felt boots)
and an archaic padded jacket. Muzhik was carrying a prehistoric
club, a boy's catapult and a gun. With this weaponry he aimed
at people and dogs. One of the dogs was wearing a piece of fabric
symbolising a target.
The misbehaving and scolding muzhik had the text "Accept me to
WTO!" on the back of his jacket. But can Russia - a country that
still shoots its strays in many cities and towns - come anywhere
close to the notion "a highly developed country"? - wonders VITA.
With this action VITA purported to back the stray sterilisation
program introduced in Moscow in 1999. Now the city authority Mosgorduma
is considering the possibility to switch back to stray shootings.
The reason is that the sterilisation program "proves not to function
as it should", as some people's deputes claim.
VITA explained to the present media that the program has never
been implemented properly in the first place. Local responsible
officials let only a tiny fraction of strays be sterilised, instead
of the required minimum - 80 per cent of females. City authorities
also build no shelters for those sterilised animals that are weakened
and need temporary care.
VITA believes that instead of resorting to stray shootings - a
totally ineffective and inhumane approach - authorities should
make sure the sterilisation program is implemented correctly.
VITA sent seven appeals to the city authorities, and to the chairman
of the Federal Council of Russia to save and better control the
Moscow stray sterilisation program.
DONKEY ON A HIGHWAY -
ATTRACTION TO A RESTARURANT
In June VITA received five complaints about the restaurant "Loza"
that kept a donkey on a highway to attract visitors. The totally
frightened donkey Zita spent long days in a tiny cage on a polluted
highway. Complaints of local residents and passers-by didn't impress
the restaurant director.
There is still no animal welfare law in Russia according to which
Zita could be confiscated. Thus after receiving VITA's complaint
the Department of Nature Use of the Moscow government refused
to interfere. VITA launched a further complaint at Gosduma, and
the general prosecutor's office.
VITA also informed the media, and showed the site to the journalists
from the TV channels Ren-TV and VKT. Scared by the presence of
the video cameras, the restaurant director moved Zita to the backyard
of the restaurant. It was with great pleasure and relief that
the donkey ate the fresh grass and walked around freely.
LACK OF ANIMAL RIGHTS - RUSSIA'S SHAME!
- ran a huge placard on the Moscow Pushkin square on April 16
where VITA and the Party for Nature Protection held an action
to support the federal animal welfare law in Russia.
The country still doesn't have a law that would seriously protect
animals from maltreatment. This leads to numerous cases of cruelties
The media extensively covered the action.
NEW VET PERSECUTIONS
FOR THE USE OF MEDICAL DRUGS
After a year and a half of mostly failed vet prosecutions for
the use of the medical drug Ketamine (see previous VITA newsletters
on www.vita.org.ru) Russian Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) started
new prosecutions. This time vets "crime" is the use of the officially
allowed (!) anabolic steroid Lauroboline. The drug is essential
in the veterinary medicine. DEA is now prosecuting four vets from
the towns of Yaroslavl and Rybinsk.
After her effective campaign to protect vets in the Ketamine crisis
VITA is now dealing with this new problem. On June 9 VITA held
a press-conference to widely inform the public of the Lauroboline
crisis, and start extensive discussions in the media. VITA held
another press-conference in Yaroslavl together with the local
vets and lawyer Chernousov on June 16. On July 19 during the first
court hearing VITA held an action in front of the the Yaroslavl
VITA also informed the media that the organisation would be appealing
to president Putin to relocate 30 000 out of 40 000 DEA employees
to the southern borders of the country. There they could really
do their job fighting drug smuggling, instead of persecuting innocent
vets across the country.
Shall we soon be imprisoned for the use of gauze bandage?!!!
- wondered VITA on one of her numerous placards during the Moscow
action of July 16. With the action VITA supported the vets, called
to DEA to stop its ridiculous prosecutions, and appealed to the
authorities to better control the agency's activities. The action
was widely covered in the media.
During the press-conference on the Ketamine problem of April 21
VITA publicised her open appeal to the prime-minister Fradkov
and the human rights representative Lukin. VITA urged them to
further the utterly slow process of legalising the use of the
medical drug in the veterinary medicine. VITA had collected hundreds
of signatures of vets from 70 Russian cities and towns under the
appeal. Media showed considerable interest for the discussed issue.
ANOTHER VEGAN BABY BORN
VITA's public relations officer Tanya Maroueva lives in Switzerland.
On June 11 Tanya gave birth to their son Alex. Tanya ate vegan
throughout her pregnancy.
Tanya relates: "I ate no animal products during this first pregnancy
of mine, and felt very good. I kept working at VITA and at a local
school, and led an active lifestyle.
Despite the fears of doctors and acquaintances, the baby developed
very well. However I was haunted by the medical personnel who
ranked me as a "risk case" only because I am vegan. The fact that
I was going to give birth at home, not at a hospital, added to
In the long run I had enough of their continuous distressing warnings.
I simply stopped visiting doctors. An understanding midwife Sandra
Egli inspected me on a regular basis, and was there during the
birth of Alex.
I felt very strong throughout my pregnancy, and during the 10
hour long birth. I ate grains, nuts, fruit, raw and cooked vegetables,
seeds, oils, soy products.
Alex was born healthy, and he still is. His length was 50 cm,
and he was 3450 g. heavy. Alex is now almost two months old. I
am still eating vegan, and breastfeed Alex. He is developing very
I am very grateful to my husband Eric, mother Valentina, and Sandra
Egli for their fantastic help. Well and vegan pregnancy is a real
A GORGEOUS BOUQUET OF IRISES FOR VITA PRESIDENT
as well as some pretty souvenirs - this was a reward for Irina
Novozhilova after she was nominated as the best 2005 participant
of the international school-seminar "Ecological ethics and its
applied aspects". The seminar took place in Kiev, the Ukraine,
on May 24-26. VITA president gave a talk "Spreading the ideas
of bioethics through the media", and led the discussions "Animals
in entertainment" and "The tactics of the anti-hunt movement".
Irina also prepared and showed animal rights videos during the
The organizers of the seminar were the Kiev Ecological Cultural
Centre, and the coalition "For the wild nature" (the Ukraine).
Over 40 environment and animal rights activists from Belorussia,
Russia and the Ukraine took part in the seminar.
VITA TELLS PEOPLE THE TRUTH ABOUT ANIMAL ABUSE
AND PROMOTES COMPASSIONATE LIFESTYLE
Throughout the last four months VITA continued her extensive work
with the media. VITA purports to educate people on what many humans
are doing to animals inadvertently, or on purpose, and the way
each of us can do better. VITA staff gave interviews, organised
TV- and radio-programs or wrote articles on the following topics:
- animal experiments for various purposes, humane alternatives
- Ketamine and Lauraboline problem
- Fur trade and production
- Atrocious entertainments with the use of animals
- Animal markets
- Stray animals, possibilities for individuals to help strays
and city birds
- Necessity to have an animal welfare law in Russia
- Atrocious production of bear gull in China
- Necessity of introducing the subject of bioethics into the curriculum
of schools (articles by VITA activist Anna Kyuregyan)
- VITA explained to the Ukrainian public why farm animals matter,
and why intensive farming is morally unacceptable. VITA appealed
to the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture to review its plans to
introduce intensive farms in the country. VITA also informed the
Ukrainian media of the problem. As a result several newspapers
covered the problem of intensive farming. Both pro- and anti-animal
rights articles were spotted.
- On July 15 VITA handed over an open letter to the South Korean
embassy in Moscow. In her appeal VITA urged the country's authorities
to stop the torture of dogs and cats that are killed for food.
July 15 is the international day of protest against the dog and
cat maltreatment in South Korea.
- Shelter owner acquitted: On May 5 Perovskiy court of justice
in Moscow acquitted an owner of a mini shelter for stray animals
Olga Danilina. As VITA informed her readers in the newsletter
1/2005, local municipalities often create problems for volunteer
enthusiasts who shelter strays in their apartments. This was also
the case with Danilina. The judge decided in favour of the animals.
On July 7 another mini shelter owner Galina Rasnyuk was also acquitted.
Dear animal friends,
Thank you for reading this newsletter. As you could read above
I have a baby now. Thus I am temporarily working only part-time
for VITA. This is why in 2005 you will receive only three issues
of the newsletter: the January-March, April-July, and August-December
editions. Next year VITA will as usually release four newsletters.
Thank you for your understanding.
My colleagues and I would cordially appreciate any financial or
other help. Please consider making a donation to VITA to help
us carry on with our activities to save maltreated animals in
Russia. Thank you very much.
I would also be most happy to learn what you think about VITA's
activities throughout the last four months, and about this newsletter.
Your opinion is very welcome.
If you are not on VITA's mailing list yet, but you would like
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Animal Rights Centre VITA
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