Monday, September 28, 2009

Two-pet policy in the works

By Nathan Toohey

The crazy old lady with a flat full of cats may find herself facing some serious fines. City Hall has a new law in the works restricting the number of cats and dogs allowed in municipal housing.

Moscow's Housing, Public Utilities and Municipal Development Department has proposed to limit the number of domestic pets that can be kept in any given apartment to no more than two cats or two dogs plus their under-three-month-old offspring.

"Sometimes an obsessive love of animals results in neighbours' health suffering," RIA Novosti quoted Viktor Pchelovodov, deputy head of the city department, as saying at a Moscow State Duma legislative hearing last week.

The proposed changes would only concern unprivatised apartments. Such state-owned apartments are frequently inhabited by elderly pensioners who are intimidated by the bureaucratic procedure involved in privatising a flat.

The proposed fine for illegal animal hoarding was set at 4,000 to 5,000 roubles. However, Andrei Kochetkov, an adviser to the Moscow Lawmaking Centre, said there could be difficulties introducing the new rules, as the housing regulations concerning residents of unprivatised apartments fell under the control of the federal authorities.

The legislative hearing decided to continue working on the proposed changes..." Link