31 Dec 2019 22:30

Rules for licensing Russian zoos, dolphinariums and circuses to come into force on Jan 1

MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) - The Russian government has approved rules governing the licensing of the upkeep and use of animals in zoos, circuses, dolphinariums and oceanariums. A relevant decree was posted on the official legal information portal.

The document outlines the rules for licensing the upkeep and use of animals in zoos, zoological gardens, oceanariums, circuses and dolphinariums. It provides that the body in charge of the licensing procedures will be the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision (Rosselkhoznadzor).

The issuance of a license for activities with animals now requires specially prepared buildings for the upkeep of animals and special equipment for their care and upkeep. Signing a contract of employment with workers who have a relevant education (veterinarian, zootechnician, animal trainer, etc.) will also be a requirement for obtaining a license.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has also signed a decree approving requirements for the use of animals for cultural and entertainment purposes.

The document establishes general requirements to the upkeep of animals in zoos, zoological gardens, circuses, dolphinarius, and oceanariums. It establishes rules for daily monitoring of the physical condition and clinical health of animals, as well as requirements to the feeding of animals, according to which the diet is determined by the person keeping the animals. Besides, the document outlines requirements to the premises where animals are kept: enclosures, cages, aquariums, etc. It establishes requirements to veterinary services and the creation of veterinary points for sick animals.

The document establishes requirements to the safety of animals and visitors, according to which visitors need to be warned that "unauthorized contacts with animals" are unsafe and which prohibit "the involvement of viewers in animals' performances." According to the requirements, a safe distance from the spectators seating to the external part of the arena or the swimming pool of a dolphinarium is at least one meter, except for situations when animals are demonstrated in enclosures closed with glass.

The requirements also establish rules governing the transportation of animals.

Besides, the document establishes a number of requirements on the upkeep of certain types of animals in zoos: predators, especially dangerous, fishes, invertebrates, reptiles, etc.

The rules rule out contact between visitors of zoos and zoological gardens and established the maximal noise limits (70 decibels) and prohibits the use of intermittent bright light during mass cultural events on their territory.

The document contains requirements on the upkeep, feeding and care for animals in circuses and establishes conditions for the use of animals in performances. In particular, it establishes requirements to the training of animals, according to which no physical and psychological damage can be inflicted on them in particular, the document limits the maximal training time to three hours in a row a day.

The requirements to the upkeep of animals in dolphinariums and oceanariums contain regulations regarding the depth and volumes of the swimming pools in which they will be kept.

The requirements to the use of animals in oceanariums establish the maximal number of days (four days) for exhibits with sea animals, while the maximal period of time animals can spend in the places of exhibits cannot exceed 12 hours a day. Sea animals can be exhibited in open air, on condition that relevant swimming pools are created, in the period between April 1 and September 30.

The document outlines rules governing the upkeep and organization of sports events involving animals.

Both documents will take effect on January 1, 2020.