Abandoning pets will be punished: Minister
A new law on animal rights will ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops and bring punishments for those who abandon their pets on the streets, a minister has said.
“In order to prevent an increase in the number of stray animals, we aim to impose penalties for those who abandon their pets on the streets,” Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said at Ombudsman Institution’s workshop on resolving the stray animals issue on Jan. 24
“Our ministry’s works continue to make amendments to the relevant law in order to impose penalties for those who are violent against animals,” he added.
The minister expressed that vaccinated and neutered stray animals adopted from municipalities were being left on the streets again.
According to the figures Pakdemirli has provided, there are roughly 800,000 stray animals that have not been rehabilitated in Turkey.
Some 234 animal shelters, housing 86,500 animals in total, have been established by municipalities, Pakdemirli said.
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry has provided a financial support of 31 million Turkish Liras (roughly $5.8 million) to 61 municipalities in nine years, the minister stated.
When asked about whether municipalities will receive punishments regarding the condition of animal shelters, Pakdemirli said that whoever is guilty will be punished.
The minister also stressed that animal shelters are not suitable for animals’ nature, regardless of the comfort they provide.
“We do not want to build prisons for animals. We will show effort to stay clear on this,” he added.
Within a period of 11 years, many have been levied with fines amounting to 9,151,700 Turkish Liras (around $1.7 million) for violence against animals, according to the minister.
The animal rights bill, put forth in April 2018, seeks jail sentences for perpetrators who torture, kill or sexually harass animals.