Belarusian animal rights activists appeal to housing and utility organisations not to lock basements in blocks of flats, so that cats living there were not trapped inside.
RIA Novosti news agency learnt it from Lilia Piklyankova, the chairwoman of Save Animals NGO.
“Utility organisations lock basements and board up air holes in winter. Cats and kittens get trapped in basements without food and water and die.” she says adding that under regulations, utility workers must make sure there are no animals in the basement before locking it.
“The authorities think animals are biowaste. They don't imagine that cats catch rats and mice,” the activist says.
TUT.by website wrote on February 3 that Minsk utility organisations lock animals inside basements. The website received information from a woman living on Semenova street, who claims she hears hungry and thirsty cats meowing at nights. The woman says the director of the local utility office knows about the problem, but refuses to solve it.
“I cannot say for sure, but I heard it is done for the Ice hockey world championship, which will be held in Minsk. The same is said to have happened recently in Serabranka (a city district – note by Lenta.ru). These measures will be taken in the rest city districts,” the woman writes.
It's not the first time when animals have got trapped in basements in Minsk. In August 2009, officers of housing and utility office No. 82 locked cats with kittens in the basement of the block of flats on 12 Rokossovski Avenue. One of the kittens died. Animal rights activists applied to a court, which sentenced utility office director Alena Makhnitskaya to two days in custody for cruelty to animals.