All parties promise to improve animal rights

All parties promise to improve animal rights

ANKARA - Hurriyet Daily News

The government, backed by opposition parties, has promised to tighten regulations to protect animal rights and punish abusers.

Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroglu said a draft law on the issue would be sent to Parliament soon, speaking at a meeting in Parliament with a group of activists, led by pop singer Yonca Evcimik.

“Killing cats and dogs should not be left unpunished,” Eroglu said, stressing instructions for amendments came directly from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Evcimik called on Parliament to remove breaches of animal rights from the “misdemeanor” category and classify them as criminal offenses.

“Today is a milestone. We are in Parliament, and we have support from all the political parties for this great cause,” she said.

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Ayþenur Bahçekapi said Erdoðan made a promise to animal lovers ahead of the elections to toughen laws and all parties in Parliament were united on the issue.

There are currently 45,624 animals at 150 temporary shelters across Turkey, with over 4 million Turkish Liras allocated to neutering and vaccinating stray animals between 2009 and 2011, Eroglu said.