In Russia, according to a report from The Moscow Times, an alarming debt collection trend involves collectors seizing household pets from debtors who have defaulted on their loans.

But a bill drafted by one lawmaker slams the practice and calls for officials to prohibit it. Oleg Mikheyev, of the Just Russia part, said the practice is equivalent to hostage taking, according to a report by TASS news agency on Monday. Mikheyev warned that while the practice of seizing pets has been effective, it only creates more problems. The debtors often rack up new debts in desperation to get their animals returned, he said, leading them down a path toward bankruptcy.

"In St. Petersburg they seized a pedigree dog for debts, in Irkutsk - two pugs and a bulldog, in Kemerovo - a kitten, and in Altai they managed to place a parrot under house arrest," Mikheyev was quoted as saying. "The more people default on their debts due to the recession, the more willing debt collectors will be to use this measure."

Mikheyev's bill to stop the practice has been submitted to the State Duma, Russia's lower parliament house, for review.

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