Gov’t should collect tax for stray animal expenses: Veterinary surgeons’ chamber
Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
Turkey should impose a tax whose revenue will go towards stray animals and be used to cover their expenses because the issue cannot be solved through individual efforts anymore, the head of the Ankara Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons has said.
“Let’s solve this problem with the entire population. Let a tax law be issued in parliament with the joint work of all our political parties. If all political parties support this, our citizens will not oppose this either. And the tax should be collected in a fair way. More tax should be collected from those with higher incomes, less from those with lower income,” Hüseyin Tanrıverdi told daily Hürriyet on April 4, World Stray Animals Day.
“This tax can be gathered from the water, electricity or natural gas bills, which everyone pays regularly,” Tanrıverdi said.
“Although the number cannot be put clearly, it is believed that there are approximately 10 million stray animals in our country,” said Tanrıverdi, adding that the current expenses of strays in Turkey are met through budgets allocated by municipalities, the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry and Environment and Urbanization Ministry.
“But the [allocated] budgets unfortunately fall short of meeting the care, food, accommodation and health expenses of animals. [Some] Citizens are trying to look after these animals voluntarily, but the number of volunteers in this area is unfortunately low,” he said.
“The average of annual expenses of stray animals is known. This figure could be shared with the whole country. The money would be collected at the Treasury, and then it could be transferred to the relevant places. And the expense lists could be analyzed and audited by the state authorities. This money collected would be spent only on stray animals. And authorities would spend this money for the strays’ care, food, health and accommodation. The problem can be solved to a great extent,” he added.