Animal rights activists hold rally in Istanbul

Animal rights activists hold rally in Istanbul

Animal rights activists hold rally in Istanbul

Thousands of animal lovers have held a rally in Istanbul’s Yenikapı Square to draw attention to the violence against animals and their ill-treatment in shelters recently.

Citizens from all over the country attended the rally organized by various non-governmental organizations and animal rights associations under the leadership of Paw Guards.

Animal lovers demanded the implementation of Animal Rights Law No. 5199, and an end to violence against animals.

“Have you ever looked into the eyes of a cat or dog that was shot with a rifle, paralyzed and beaten in the streets? They know very well what pain and suffering are,” Ayşe Taşkıran, the head of Paw Guards, called out to authorities.

Animal rights became a hot topic of debate in the country after two people killed a dog by fatally hitting its head with a shovel at an animal rehabilitation center in the central Anatolian province of Konya.

Meanwhile, as fines will be imposed on those who do not have their pets registered on a pet-tracking system called “PETVET” until Jan. 1, 2023, the last day set by the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry for the microchipping process, animal owners created a density in the provincial directorates across the country.

Based on an animal protection legislation that came into force in late 2018, the ministry started the project to determine the exact number of dogs, cats and weasels looked after by their owners.

According to the data obtained from the ministry, a total of 504,000 cats and 385,00 dogs have been registered in the pet tracking system as of Dec. 23.

Only 160,000 cats and 85,000 dogs were microchipped in Istanbul, which is known as the city of cats all over the world, while the authorities stated that the number of animals registered in the system is quite low considering the domestic animal population in the country.