Chairman of Investigative Committee of Russia Orders to Draft Proposals for Amending Law after Analyzing Incidents Related to Death of People in Stray Dog Attacks

In connection with another child’s death in a stray dog attack, the chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia instructed the central office staff to analyze similar incidents in different regions and draft proposals to improve the current legislation in order to increase the population’s safety and prevent similar events. The proposals should stipulate effective and feasible mechanisms for preventing such tragedies, as well as a system to control how the officials in the regions perform the associated duties with defined responsibility limits, including criminal liability for the officials carrying out duties related to animal handling. The results of this work will be presented to the country's leadership via the established procedure.

This reaction has been triggered by repeated incidents related to stray animal attacks on people in different regions of the country. Unfortunately, this problem does not receive due attention, while municipal officials in some regions simply ignore it. It is obvious that in order to prevent such cases, stricter legislation is required both at the federal and regional levels. After all, in Zabaykalsky Krai alone, at least five dog attacks on citizens occurred in the past year. In this region, investigators of the Regional Investigative Directorate are studying these circumstances within a single criminal case initiated under Article 293 of the Criminal Code of Russia (negligence). In addition to the legal evaluation of the officials' actions (inaction) within the preliminary investigation, back in 2021, the investigators sent a submission to the Zabaykalsky Krai governor regarding the need for urgent measures to prevent dog attacks on people. However, no significant measures have been taken on this submission. This year, several procedural investigations in dog attacks on children have been initiated and are underway in Chita. The issue of initiating criminal cases is under consideration.

Stray dog attacks on people are also being investigated in other regions of the country. For example, this January, a criminal case was initiated on the officials’ negligence in relation to the municipal public institution Department of Public Utilities and Landscaping of the Krasnodar municipality, where a number of dog attacks on local residents were reported. The legal evaluation is underway regarding the actions (inaction) of officials from local administrations and organizations responsible for trapping neglected animals in Smolensk, Saratov, Sakhalin, Novosibirsk, and Voronezh Oblasts, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, Khabarovsk Krai, as well as the Republics of Buryatia and Sakha (Yakutia), and other Russian constituents. In Krasnoyarsk Krai, a criminal trial is currently underway against the former head of the Krasnoyarsk municipal state institution Department of Roads, Infrastructure and Landscaping, who is accused of negligence. His unscrupulous and negligent attitude toward his duties led to an increase in the number of stray dogs in the city and their attacks on people. Earlier in Bryansk, where three women had been killed in dog attacks in 2019-2020, the chairman of the Committee on Housing and Utility Services of the city administration was convicted.

Within each criminal case, the investigators send submissions to the officials and relevant organizations on taking measures to eliminate the circumstances that contributed to the commitment of the crime. In this regard, the Department head also ordered to study the results of the execution of submissions filed by the investigators and take into account these results when drafting the proposals.

In addition, A. I. Bastrykin demanded that his subordinates continue to take exhaustive measures to investigate such cases, reminding them of the territorial division heads’ personal responsibility for taking legal action to prevent such events. At the same time, the grounds for procedural decisions taken and investigation completeness will be scrutinized in each case.