Pet ownership will require a certificate in Turkey

Pet ownership will require a certificate in Turkey

Turan Yılmaz ANKARA / Hürriyet
Pet ownership will require a certificate in Turkey

A woman poses with a dog she acquired from a shelter in this file photo. DHA photo

Anybody who wants to have a pet at home will need to undergo training. They will also have to provide suitable accommodation for the welfare of the animal, as well as meeting its ethological needs and care for its health. With the new arrangement, sales of all kinds of pets and animals except for fish and birds will be banned in pet shops. Also, prison sentences will be introduced for torture and ill-treatment of animals.

Significant changes were made in the animal rights bill at the Parliamentary Sub-commission on the Environment headed by Justice and Development Party (AKP) Manisa deputy Selçuk Özdağ. Among other changes, criterion to own a pet has also been introduced:

“Any person, who adopts, owns, sells or cares for an animal needs to have an accommodation suitable for the welfare of the animal, meet its ethological needs and care for its health. People who sell or adopt pets are obliged to take precautionary measures to prevent environmental pollution and damage and discomforts stemming from the animals; they need to compensate any damage stemming from not having taken adequate measures on time. Those who sell and own pets are obliged to participate in training programs organized by local administrations and obtain a certificate. A fine of 1,000 Turkish Liras will be imposed on those who sell pets to people who have not received animal care training.”

There is another clause in the bill that bans the killing of ownerless or very weak animals except for situations defined in the law. Also experimental work on animals is restricted to researchers who have obtained certificates for using experimental animals after completing the training programs organized by ethics councils. Exports and imports of experimental animals are subject to permission. This permit is granted by the Food, Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.

Jail for sexual intercourse 

There will be a 2,000 liras fine for those who torture animals, 1,000 liras for those who ill-treat animals on purpose, 500 liras for those who walk their dangerous and risky dogs without a strap and nozzle and the penalty for sexual intercourse with animals is jail sentences from three months to two years.

The sub-commission is also focusing on including animal fights into the category of purposely ill-treating an animal and introduces an obligation to take animals to the veterinary in the case of traffic accidents.
Animal lovers’ demand that sacrificing animals in greetings to be banned was also discussed in the sub-commission, but was not decided upon.

Restrictions in commercials 

Animals will not be exposed to pain or any kind of damage during the shooting of a film, TV series, commercial activities or similar. Circus organizations, either on land or water, which involve animals are also being banned. The sub-commission has also lifted the ban on production, owning, entering the country, sale and advertisement of dangerous dog breeds such as the pit-bull, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasilerio.