Ban on dolphin parks and circuses removed from animal protection bill

Ban on dolphin parks and circuses removed from animal protection bill

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Ban on dolphin parks and circuses removed from animal protection bill

Activists have criticized the dolphin parks, claiming that they are torturing the animals. There are nine dolphin parks operating in Turkey, AKP deputy Metiner says, defending their existence for the rehabilitation of children.

A ban on dolphin parks and animal circuses has been removed from a draft of the amendment on the protection of animals law, with a notice issued by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy.

Turkish Parliament’s Environment Commission approved the first five articles of a draft on the law on the protection of animals during a gathering on June 11.

AKP Adıyaman deputy Mehmet Metiner said in his notice that dolphin parks “allow children to love animals and develop an environmentalist point of view.”

Recalling that there are nine dolphin parks in Turkey, Metiner said: “Apart from contributing to our country’s economy, these parks have significant social and cultural roles. They contribute to the rehabilitation of disabled children without charging the families with the social responsibility project.

They also introduce children, who come from orphanages, or other schools, to the love for animals and the children also gain an environmentalist point of view and have the chance to learn about sea creatures from a closer perspective,” said Metiner in his notice demanding the removal of the ban on animal circuses and dolphin parks.  

The article removed from the draft upon Metiner’s notice. The dolphin parks are strongly criticized by animal rights activists for their grave effects on animals.

Pets won’t be confiscated for owner’s debts

Pets will not be confiscated due to the debts of the owners, according to the draft articles approved by the commission. Ownerless animals or injured ones will not be killed without reason, unless stipulated by law.

Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu said the amendments to the law would allow them to monitor all pets, both owned and those living in the streets.

“We want to ID the animals. We are at the last stage of a system in which we will have all of the pets’ information in a computer system. A microchip will be inserted into the animals and all of their information will be recorded onto that.

However, animal rights activists told the commission that the draft allows the use of animals in the experiments. “We do not accept the concept of placing stray pets into living shelters and we do not accept the use of animals in experiments,” the activists told the commission.

The first regulation on animals was put into law in 1928 and it was not changed until the 1980s. Turkey signed the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) on Oct. 15, 1978.

On July 1, 2004, a law on animals was passed by Parliament regulating the treatment and owning of animals and penalties for crimes committed against animals.  However, the law was largely criticized by activists for failing to punish the maltreatment of animals.