Gov’t steps back in bid to amend animal rights law

Gov’t steps back in bid to amend animal rights law

Gov’t steps back in bid to amend animal rights law

DHA Photo

The government took a step back regarding a controversial draft law that would bring amendments to the current animal rights law following nationwide protests.

The bill was expected to be discussed in Parliament’s Environment Commission, but was withdrawn before deliberations started.

Thousands of people hit the streets Sept. 30 in 14 provinces to protest the law and called on the government to abolish the plan.

The draft will be re-introduced after some changes, reported today, citing commission officials. However, it was not clear whether the new draft would satisfy the demands of the animal rights activists, who have been fighting hard against the draft, which they called “murder law.”
The proposed amendment to Law 5199 on the protection of animals authorized the removal of stray animals, limiting the number of pets in houses and the termination of what is termed “dangerous” breeds. Activists feared the regulation would lead to the mass killing of cats and dogs regardless of whether they are pets or strays.

Animals will be relocated to “natural parks” after being spayed or neutered and properly rehabilitated, according to the draft.

Animal rights activists were concerned about this part of the new regulation. Having already witnessed Turkish governmental institutions’ incapacity to run proper shelters and rehabilitation facilities, activists have said they fear that the “natural parks” run the risk of turning into death camps in remote corners of cities, or immediately outside cities, where thousands of animals, both dogs and cats, are left to die without proper veterinary services and nourishment.