New draft law suggests jail time for animal abusers

New draft law suggests jail time for animal abusers

New draft law suggests jail time for animal abusers

A resident of Istanbul's Cihangir neighborhood feeds street cats.

A draft code that has been submitted to the Turkish Parliament after months of discussions by officials and nongovernmental organizations suggests jail time for those who abuse animals.  

Lider Tanrıkulu, a lawyer who is a member of the Animal Rights Commission of Antalya Bar Association, said a report had been sent to the Environment Commission, which then prepared the new draft outlining improvements on the issue.

Administrative fines will reportedly be increased fourfold, while training animals in ways that could exceed their capacities, cause injuries or “unnecessary pain,” or that would promote bad behavior and animal fighting, will result in sentences between six months to two years in jail, the draft suggests.

Leaving animals hungry, thirsty, beating them, exposing them to cruelty, keeping them under extreme cold or heat conditions, abusing them physically or psychologically, will result in sentences between four months and three years, if the draft is approved.

Meanwhile, selling animals to people under 16 and unlicensed animal trade will be given sentences of up to two years. 

The Environment Commission approved the first part of a draft on the law on the protection of animals during a gathering on June 11. 

On June 13, an article that called for the banning of dolphin parks and animal circuses was removed from another draft law by a deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Dolphin parks are strongly criticized by animal rights activists for their grave effects on animals, though the AKP’s Mehmet Metiner said in his notice that dolphin parks “allowed children to love animals.”