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Animal Abuse: Responsibility and Punishment in 2019


After the introduction of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in its original version, the article for animal cruelty lasted until December 20, 2019. After December 20, she was criminalized - the punishment was toughened, the disposition was changed, thereby the subjective side was expanded, new qualifying signs were added, the objective side was changed.

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A bill to tighten the measures of article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was proposed back in 2015 due to the large increase in poisoning of animals by people: for example, thousands of dogs were poisoned only in St. Petersburg.

Also, the previous edition was rarely applicable because of the hard proof and disposition itself, which provided for punishment only for causing death or injury to the animal. For half of 2015, about 50 people were convicted.

The reason for the new edition is the criminogenic factor, that is, others who watched what was happening. The criminal himself, committing mockery of the animal and at the same time remaining unpunished for crimes, deforms the personality (changes it), which in the future can lead to an increase in violent crime.

The legislator defines the concept of cruelty to animals by listing the actions that are subject to criminal punishment.

Cruelty to animals or livelihood are actions that are aimed at causing suffering, pain to an animal from hooligan or mercenary motives, which led to the death of the animal or the purpose of such actions.

Statistics in Russia

According to statistics, this crime is the most latent (about 10 percent are recorded).

The reason for this may be objective and subjective reasons:

  • For objective reasons can be attributed to the fact that there is no means and the ability of the state to control this type of offense (there is no way to identify).
  • Subjective reasons It is difficult to prove this criminal act, therefore, officials resort to not initiating and not registering such offenses. Another reason follows from the court - these are the indicators of statistics. Without registering a crime, law enforcement agencies thereby increase detection rates.

Absolute rates of recorded crimes for livestock.

YearNumber of crimes under Art. 245 of the Criminal Code
Half year 2012135

In 2019, 82 people were prosecuted for animal cruelty, of which only one received a real term.

Relative indicators depending on age are as follows:


Most of these crimes are committed by men.

Normative base

The type of offense under consideration is enshrined only in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, namely in Article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

There are similar compositions and administrative offenses enshrined in some regions of Russia.

The Code of Administrative Offenses of some subjects of Russia and regional laws contain the following violations:

  • rules for keeping animals,
  • transportation rules
  • procedure for events with animals,
  • cruelty to animals and others.

Administrative responsibility

In Russia there is no punishment for cruelty to animals under the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation.

The fact that in our country it is forbidden to scoff at pets is stated in Art. 137 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. And although they are recognized as property, the law punishes for cruelty to animals.

The law says that animals can only be treated humanely.

Deputies undertook the development of a law on the protection of animals from flayers after a high-profile event in Khabarovsk. Teenage girls tortured and killed dogs and cats, filmed it on camera and put it on the Internet. For this they were sentenced to compulsory labor. However, the public considered this punishment to be very lenient.

In 2019, liability for cruelty to animals was established only in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. It is not yet clear whether a separate law on this topic will be adopted in the near future.

For cruelty to animals, you can find yourself in the dock.

Criminal liability under article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

Responsibility for cruelty to animals was tightened at the end of 2017.

But to punish the offender, you must have at least one sign:

  • the attacker intentionally caused pain and suffering to the animal,
  • a cat or dog was injured or died,
  • the presence of hooligan or selfish motives.

These circumstances constitute a crime.

For such a mockery the flayer faces:

  • a fine of up to 80 thousand rubles. or confiscation of income for six months,
  • correctional (up to 1 year) or compulsory (up to 360 hours) work,
  • restriction of freedom up to 1 year,
  • 6 months arrest
  • imprisonment up to 3 years.

For inflicting pain and suffering on “our little brothers” faces a prison term.

If the whole group was mocked at the animal, either in the presence of a young child, using sadistic methods or in public, the sanction is tightened.

The court may sentence the offender to:

  • a fine of up to 300 thousand rubles.,
  • corrective labor up to 2 years,
  • forced labor or imprisonment of up to 5 years.

Mocked the animals - sit in the "cage" for 5 years.

Where to go if I witnessed animal cruelty?

If you became an eyewitness of the actions of a flayer or saw an exhausted animal on the street - do not pass by. Take your cat or dog to the nearest veterinary clinic.

Many veterinarians work with regional animal welfare societies and provide homeless four-legged animals with free help.

If animals are tormented before your eyes, try to stop the lawlessness. Often teenagers have so much fun. It may be enough for one word of an adult to stop bullying.

Take a picture of the beast's injuries. This may come in handy later when filing a complaint with the police. Report the incident to the Animal Welfare Society. They can take the victim under guardianship and find the owner.

We saw a sadist mocking an animal - intervene.

If you know exactly where the torturers operate, contact the police. Call the outfit to take the criminals red-handed.

Be sure to file a complaint with the police. A sample will be issued to you at the department. Indicate in it what you know about the intruders and their actions, demand to understand and institute criminal proceedings.

If the attendant refuses to accept the application, complain to his management or to the prosecutor's office.

If the application is accepted, verification of information and evidence will last 10 days. After it, a decision will be made whether to initiate a case or to refuse an investigation indicating the reasons.

Legal assistance to pet owners

Often, flayers choose victims of homeless animals. Usually no one is following them, which means there is less chance of being held accountable.

But sometimes pets fall into the hands of sadists. If you find yourself in this situation and want to punish criminals, contact a lawyer.

The flayer can not only be put in jail, but also to recover moral harm.

Lynching a flayer is far from the best method. Many people believe that everything will get away with a sadist and seek to punish him. Remember that you run the risk of being in the dock, and the criminal will not suffer the deserved punishment.

Only an experienced lawyer will ensure that the police accept and consider your application, conduct an audit, and initiate proceedings. The lawyer will make sure that the flayer gets what he deserves.

Turning to a specialist, you can count on:

  • consultation in any form convenient for you - in person, by phone or via the Internet,
  • assistance in the preparation of the application,
  • support of procedural actions, investigations and involvement of additional specialists, if circumstances so require,
  • assistance in writing a lawsuit and collecting evidence.

Do not rush to deal with a sadist - consult a lawyer.

Object of crime

This is public morality, the relationship that develops between man and the animal world, since man is a combination of biological and social properties. It is biological properties that combine with animals of animals, since man and animal are part of wildlife. The second property is distinctive - a person lives and develops in society, has consciousness.

Due to the fact that people and animals combine biological properties, the state needs to regulate the relationship of people to animals (on the contrary, this is not possible), to prevent actions aimed at pain and suffering to representatives of other species of wildlife.

Where to go to remove the beatings? Find out here.

Subject of offense

These are animals, but not all! The animals protected by the state include the highest vertebrates - mammals and birds, and it does not matter whose property they are or are generally wild.

This means that fish, insects, invertebrates are not part of the crime.

They are a 16-year-old person and older people.

Objective side

Consists of two alternative actions:

  • caused the death of the animal,
  • led to his mutilation.

This means that the animal was damaged in such a way that violated its anatomical properties (deprivation of limbs, eye removal).

Crime can be expressed both in actions and inaction:

  • Actions can be: the organization of battles between animals or their beating, mockery of them.
  • Inaction is expressed in indifference to the animal, that is, deprivation of its food, water, refusal of assistance.

Subjective side

It is expressed in direct and indirect intent.

This also includes the motive for the offense - mercenary or hooligan motives:

  • Selfish motives manifest themselves in making a profit (organizing battles and getting material benefits from this), or vice versa getting rid of costs (it is very rare, but involves killing an animal, as from "economic costs").
  • Hooligan motives - the manifestation of a criminal neglect of animals by demonstrating their actions to others, ignoring social norms of morality.

After the adoption of the new edition of Art. 245 of the Criminal Code, another category of the subjective side has appeared - this is the purpose for which this crime is committed.

So, cruel treatment in order for the animal to suffer or suffer pain is now also a criminal offense, thereby the legislator has expanded the subjective side.

Where to go

If children, adults mock their own, other people's pets or wild animals, it is necessary to show their active citizenship and report this to law enforcement agencies.

To do this, you need to come to the nearest department of the interior (police), report the incident to the duty officer and write a statement.

After ten days, a reasoned response must be received on the application (refusal or prosecution).

If the answer is no, it can be appealed to the head of the police, the prosecutor or in court.

By showing civic activity, a person helps the state to fight crime.

After all, human rights defenders cannot keep track of everyone, and it’s almost impossible to do such a crime as livestock making, which is revealed and proved very hard.

How to write a statement?

The Code of Criminal Procedure provides an opportunity to file an application both orally and in writing:

  • In the first case, the police officer will draw up a protocol and give him access to the applicant under signature.
  • In the second case, the application can be written independently at home or in the office of the authorized body.

When compiling a statement at home, it is necessary to adhere to some mandatory rules for registration:

  • The application is drawn up in the name of the first head of the police unit, his name, position and title are indicated.
  • Next is the water part, where the data of the applicant are indicated (name, year of birth, place of residence, phone number).
  • The narrative describes in detail the circumstances of what happened: what they saw and what actions were defined as criminal (beating, mocking a dog, a neighbor does not feed his pet). Indicate the time and place of the offense.
  • The final part is resolutive, where the requirements are indicated (to stop the crime, to find the offender).

It will be easier to write a statement in law enforcement, they will provide a sample statement and help to correctly and consistently state your thoughts.

How to prove the fact?

Animal cruelty can be proven with the following evidence:

  • witness's testimonies,
  • videos or photos of animal cruelty
  • forensic medical examination, which allows to determine the degree of harm caused to the beast.

Responsibility and Punishment

There is administrative (at the subject level) and criminal liability (at the federal level) for livestock breeding. They differ in the degree of harm caused to the beast, the size of the maximum punishment.

Any subject of the Russian Federation has the right to establish administrative responsibility for animal cruelty. There is no such norm at the federal level, although in 2015 there were attempts to introduce it.

Administrative (fines)

In different subjects, for this type of offense, sanctions are slightly different in size.

So, administrative sanction is provided for in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Republic of Buryatia, Altai Territory.

The size of the sanctions is shown in the table below:

The subject of the Russian FederationThe amount of punishment in rubles
MoscowOn fl - up to 2500, on dl - 4000-5000, in s.l. - 15000-20000.
St. PetersburgOn fl - up to 5000, dl - 15000-20000, in s.l. - 50-100 thousand.
The Republic of BuryatiaOn fl - 1000-2000, dl - 2000-4000, in s.l. - 5000-10000.
Altai regionOn fl - 500-1500, dl - 3000-5000, in s.l. - 5000-10000.

* F.L. - individuals, d. - officials, y.l. - legal entities.

Criminal Article 245 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

According to Part 1 of Art. 245 of the Criminal Code, a person who has committed an unlawful act may be punished from a fine to the actual term of imprisonment:

  • Fine - up to 80,000 rubles.
  • Income from wages or another source for a period of 6 months.
  • Mandatory work - 360 hours.
  • Correctional work - up to 1 year.
  • Restriction of freedom - up to 1 year.
  • Arrest - up to 6 months.
  • Imprisonment - up to 3 years.

For a qualified composition under Part 2 of Art. 245 of the Criminal Code, the punishment is as follows:

  • Fine - 100-300 thousand rubles.
  • Income from wages or other sources for a period of 1 to 2 years.
  • Forced labor - up to 5 years.
  • Imprisonment - 3-5 years.

Read about the features of the compensation for damage caused by the accident here.

What threatens for attempted murder of two or more persons? Details are here.

For minors

Children from 16 years old are, as a general rule, the subjects of a criminal offense, which means that they themselves are responsible for committed illegal acts.

But minors cannot bear the same responsibility as adult criminals, the children of criminals are even kept separately, educational colonies are specially created for them.

How much is given to minors for a similar crime?

By the main composition:

  • Fine - 1000-50000 rubles.
  • Size from source of income - from 2 weeks to 6 months.
  • Mandatory work - 40-160 hours.
  • Correctional work - up to 1 year.
  • Restriction of freedom - up to 2 months.

According to the qualifying composition, the minor is facing a sentence of imprisonment from 3 to 5 years, the remaining sanctions within those listed above.

Children from 16 to 17 years of age are not assigned to arrest, forced labor, the basic composition can not be assigned to imprisonment.

Arbitrage practice

It was noted above that men predominantly commit this crime, which means that practice is mainly in relation to them.


  • The man threw a noose around the dog and dragged it for an hour and a half, realizing that the dog was not dying, he decided to hang it. For a long time, the dog could not break out and made sounds indicating that it was being hurt (whining, wheezing). The death of the dog was due to compression of the neck while hanging. The man confessed to the deed. The court sentenced him to a prison term of 4 months.
  • A man in a state of intoxication from hooligan motives, using an insignificant pretext (dog barking), approached her and hit her several times with a hard object, as a result of which the hind limb was broken, which subsequently led to her amputation. Then the man began to strangle the pet with an iron chain, causing painful suffering to it (the dog whined and moaned). The man did not plead guilty in court. The court sentenced him to 5 years of corrective labor.

After the introduction of the new animal cruelty law, judicial practice has not yet appeared, but it is understood that it will reduce crimes against animals in the future.

Профилактика за жестокое обращение с животными необходима обществу. Случаев множество, и с каждым годом их количество растет, что видно по статистике за 2000 – 2007 год. Further, the statistics decreased slightly, but there are many cases, the statistics show only registered cases, which leave about 10% of the total number of committed acts.

From practice it is clear that the court is quite loyal to criminals, and punishment in the form of imprisonment is imposed extremely rarely.

  • Due to frequent changes in the legislation, information sometimes becomes outdated faster than we manage to update it on the site.
  • All cases are very individual and depend on many factors. Basic information does not guarantee a solution to your specific problems.

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Legislative changes

At the moment, there are several bills that are related to animal cruelty and are discussed at the federal level:

  • One of the main legislative initiatives is the introduction of an article in the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, according to which it would be possible to bring animal torturers to administrative responsibility. So, it is proposed to introduce a norm that provides for punishment not only for causing physical suffering, but also mental (deprivation of water, food, 24 hours in a limited space, deprivation of the ability to move, etc.). The sanction under this article involves fining individuals for 1000-3000 rubles, organizations - up to 500,000 rubles.
  • In September 2016, representatives of the Just Russia faction submitted a proposal to amend the criminal law. Activists are convinced that violence against animals contributes to the growth of aggression and crime in general throughout society. So, the authors of this bill S. Mironov, O. Mikheev consider it necessary to amend the Criminal Code of the following nature:
    • introduce a separate rule providing for responsibility for organizing and conducting fierce battles involving dogs or other representatives of the animal world,
    • introduce responsibility for setting one animal on another, if such actions have caused injury or death,
    • increase the sentence to 6 years in prison for committing a crime with additional features (for example, using official position), as well as increase the fine to 800,000 rubles.
    • Zoodefenders agree with such proposals and are confident that in the form in which the criminal article exists now, there is practically no fear of responsibility before the law, which also contributes to the low awareness of the population that it is really possible to become a convict for animal mockery.
  • Previously, there were other legislative initiatives, for example:
    • provide an obligation to compensate for the treatment and rehabilitation of the animal after being injured,
    • introduce responsibility for propaganda of animal husbandry with a fine of up to 200,000 rubles,
    • introduce liability for an animal brought down by a car with a punishment in the form of a restriction of freedom or a fine of up to 150,000 rubles,
    • tighten liability for the commission of a repeat offense of a similar nature.

So, in 2011, the deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation O. Lebedev submitted for approval a bill that was not approved due to many amendments and criticisms (there were more than 2000). The study of comments, making adjustments and additions continues to this day, the bill has not been finalized (only the first reading has passed), but has not been rejected.

All proposals are currently under discussion. At the same time, the media repeatedly reported that the Russian president agreed with the need to tighten the punishment under Art. 245 of the Criminal Code. Such a position as a whole is consistent with long-established rules in other civilized countries. So, for throwing a pet onto the street in many states it is punishable by a fine of several thousand euros (in Italy - up to 1 year in prison). In Israel, criminal penalties for bullying a dog or cat can reach 4 years in prison.

Frequent cases of livelihood contribute to intensifying the discussion of sensitive issues:

  • in the Khabarovsk Territory, girls brutally mocked more than 15 cats, filmed a video and uploaded it to the Internet,
  • Recently, situations have become more frequent when teenagers seek to earn money using a cruel animal video, for which they pay a fee,
  • in early 2016, three minors in the Vitebsk region brutally mocked a kitten who had his eyes gouged out and then hanged,
  • regularly killing facts of those animals that have lived their whole lives at home, are old and become a burden for their owners are regularly revealed.

Let's hope that the draft laws on toughening criminal liability and introducing administrative punishment at the federal level in Russia will be approved in the near future, which we will immediately inform our readers.