Ministry to provide forest areas for animal shelters in Istanbul

Ministry to provide forest areas for animal shelters in Istanbul

Ministry to provide forest areas for animal shelters in Istanbul

The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry will provide forest lands to 39 municipalities of Istanbul to establish shelters for stray animals in a pilot project.

Stating that there is a lack of space in animal shelters, Minister Vahit Kirişçi told journalists after the cabinet meeting, “We will solve this problem of Istanbul by giving place to local governments from forest areas as these shelters need to be close to natural life.”

The municipalities of Istanbul’s 39 districts will be able to use 30 decares of land as natural animal shelters, the minister said. “We started it as a pilot project in Istanbul, if it pays off and we can get positive results, we will follow a similar path for other provinces.”

The project will be carried out jointly with the governor’s office, Kirişçi added.

Announcing that the ministry will organize a workshop on the increase in the stray animal population in the cities in the coming days, Kirişci said, “In this workshop, we will take the opinions of academics and experts, and determine a roadmap.”

The diagnosis of rabies in a 10-year-old in the eastern province of Bitlis has rekindled the discussions about stray animals.

Within the “street animal rehabilitation” project, the ministry earlier allocated 32 million liras for the neutering of stray animals and 68 million liras for the construction of animal shelters.

It is estimated that there are more than 8 million stray animals in Türkiye, while the projects and supports implemented for the purpose of breeding animals and preventing threats they may pose are carried out under the coordination of the ministry.

In this regard, a total of 72 million liras of financial support was provided to 88 local governments between 2009 and 2022 for the construction of temporary animal shelters for stray animals, while the total amount allocated for their neutering between 2017 and 2022 was 25 million liras.

A total of 2.3 million stray animals were vaccinated by local governments, around 2 million animals were neutered and 479.000 animals were adopted from nursing homes between 2004 and September 2022, according to the ministry’s data.

During the inspections, 26 million liras of administrative fine was imposed regarding animal rights violations between 2017 and 2021, and 6.2 million liras as of July 2022.

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