Selling of cats, dogs at pet shops to be banned across Turkey: Ministry
Meltem ÖZGENÇ – ANKARAThe selling of cats and dogs from pet shops will be banned across Turkey, according to a new regulation from the Forestry and Waters Affairs Ministry.
The ministry has prepared a draft law on animals, animal rights and pet shops following a series of meetings with representatives of animal rights groups.
According to the changes, those who want to buy pets from pet shops will have to choose from catalogues, as owners of the pet shops will not be allowed to keep cats and dogs on display in their stores. Cats and dogs will be bred at specially designated sites with a suitable light and heat balance, while pet shop owners will only be able to display fish and bird species in their stores.
The draw law also bans people from going outside with four species of dog - Pitbull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Fila Brasileiro and Dogo Argentino - without a leash and muzzle.
The general manager of the Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks (DKMP), Nurettin Taş, said people violating this regulation would be given a fine.
“We have totally banned the walking of dogs that pose a danger to the public, after forming a scientific council to identify the specific species. Those walking these kinds of dogs without a leash and muzzle will be fined,” Taş said.
Meanwhile, all pet cats and dogs will be given passports and will be registered at a ministry database within 15 days of the date when they were adopted. Pet animals will also be chipped, which includes details of the animal and its owner. Those who release their animals into the street from home will also be identified and fined, with the help of the details in the microchip, according to the regulation.
Another change that the draft law introduces is the banning of dolphin parks across Turkey.
However, the Platform of Animal Rights Solidarity has criticized the changes, saying the draft was prepared without seeking opinions from scientists, professional chambers and NGOs.
It also warned that if the draft becomes law it will lead to a “genocide of animals,” saying that animals will be shot or poisoned to prevent rising animal numbers.
Taş denied the claims, noting that if the regulation becomes law, building an animal nursery will be an obligation for districts with a population of more than 100,000.
“Also, people who have killed, poisoned, sold for food, or had sexual intercourse with animals will be sentenced with imprisonment,” he added.