NGO demands to expand scope of new animal rights law
As the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is preparing to introduce the much-awaited animal rights bill to the parliament, the Animal Protection, Rescue and Survival Association (HAYKURDER) has objected to 24 titles in the package.
Stressing that the establishment of full-fledged animal hospitals by municipalities was left optional in the new draft, the association underlined that this need could not be met by local authorities since there were no fully equipped hospitals for stray animals.
Noting that animals are maltreated and sold like a commodity in pet shops, the association pointed out that the sale of animals in pet shops should be prohibited regardless of their breeds and species.
Emphasizing that the law should be able to protect the rights of animals without making any distinction between species and breeds, the association also objected to the ban of dangerous breeds, pointing out that powerful animals were being used as weapons as a result of abuse and aggressive breeding by malicious individuals.
Describing the definition of sexual relations with animals in the law as a scandal, the association stated that sexual crimes against animals should be considered as sexual assault and the sentence for such crimes should be an unsustainable prison time.
The association also voiced its demand to ban all hunting activities and zoos.
Demanding the addition of an absolute nondeferrable annotation on prison sentences for crimes against animals, the association requested that the authorities be able to open an investigation ex officio without seeking a complaint.
Stressing that the planning of animal sterilization activities should not be indexed to the human population, the organization stated that fixed rehabilitation centers should be established in settlements with a population of less than 25,000.
“Sterilization can only be possible if it is carried out simultaneously within the borders of each town, spread over time and in a planned manner,” the organization said.
Noting that the draft law does not foresee a significant change for misconduct of duty by an official, the organization stated that violations of animal rights should be evaluated within this scope.
The association also demanded to ban the use of fireworks, emphasizing that thousands of birds die every year due to fireworks.