Animal rights activists in Russia have descended heavily upon the country’s deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, for allowing a cruel treatment on a dog during a technology breathing experiment.
The startling video of the experiment shows Rogozin along with Serbian president Alexander Vučić watching Russian scientists showing how animals can breathe for up to 30 minutes in oxygen-rich liquid instead of air.
“In the clip, first broadcast on a St Petersburg television news segment on Thursday, then posted on a Russian news website, a researcher submerges a dachshund named Nikolas into a container filled with the oxygen-rich liquid, a dark colored substance in a clear container.
“The scientist holds the dog under the surface, and the dog can be seen squirming and trying to get free. The dog is submerged headfirst, and remains that way, wriggling, for seveal seconds before becoming able to breathe.”
Although the dog was later seen in good health, animal rights activists took to social media to condemn the experiment. “A Russian deputy PM with colleagues are mistreating the poor dog. Mistreating humans isn’t enough for them, they are not letting dogs live,” a popular Russian blog tweeted.
Вице-премьер Рогозин с коллегами издеваются над бедной таксой. Людей им мало, теперь решили ещё и собакам жить не давать pic.twitter.com/JWJ1NqVjsq
— Сталингулаг (@StalinGulag) December 20, 2017
Oleg Kashin, a prominent Russian journalist, described Rogozin’s actions “fascism” in a Facebook post:
After the public outcry, Rogozin proposed to adopt the dog, adding that “people should have respect for the Russian scientists and their work, which one state-owned news outlet called science fiction that has become reality”.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Peskov, presidential spokesman, defended the use of animals for scientific research saying he could not understand why the experiment attracted so much attention: “Is the dog alive? Why are you asking questions? Nobody tortured [the dog] with water there.”
However, critics still insist the experiment is extremely cruel and inhuman. Dmitry Smirnov, a pro-Kremlin journalist, too wasn’t happy about how the dog was treated. He said: “This is, of course, progress and a breakthrough, but I feel sorry for the dog”.
Paradoxically, a day after the controversial video was aired, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill to toughen punishment for cruelty to animals up to 5 years in prison into law.