Temperament test proposed for interned dogs
Umut Erdem – ANKARA
Dogs assumed to be posing danger to the public should be tested for their mood before an internment decision, according to a proposal put forward in a parliament commission.
More than 10,000 dogs, mostly Pitbull Terrier and Dogo Argentino breeds, are kept in animal nurseries across Turkey because of their breed type, Buğcan Çankaya, a member of the Animal Rights Board of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, told a parliamentary commission investigating animal rights on May 24.
“We have those banned breeds such as Pitbull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro,” he said at the meeting attended by animal rights experts and activists.
“Actually, we should rehabilitate and retrain an animal instead of banning based on its breed type, just because the owner of the dog made mistakes in the training,” he added, stressing that many interned dogs can survive only a few years in the jam-packed animal nurseries.
“If an animal is in an aggressive mood, let’s put him or her to a temperament test. If he or she fails, we should look for another way.”
Çankaya also mentioned temperament tests held in Belgium use mannequins and create various daily life situations.
More consultations urged
Nesrin Çıtırık, head of the Animals’ Right to Life Confederation, criticized the authorities for seizing the dogs of the banned breeds indiscriminatingly even if they live happily with their human families, while they do not make enough efforts to stop illegal acts of pitting animals to fight each other.
Turkish Veterinary Medical Association Secretary-General Haluk Aşkaroğlu, another attendee of the parliamentary meeting, urged that more consultations should be held in the relevant faculties.
“I agree that such tests can be held. I think the modelling should be presented by those who have the scientific background,” he said.
Incidents of torturing and killing animals have stirred public outrage in the Turkish public in recent years, prompting a debate on a new law draft to protect animals.
A new law on animal rights will ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops and bring punishments for those who abandon their pets on the streets, Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said on Jan. 24.
Some 234 animal shelters, housing 86,500 animals in total, have been established by municipalities, he said.