Turkish Constitutional Court to discuss animal torture cases on Jan 18
Turkey’s Constitutional Court will discuss the issue of the law differentiating between pets and stray animals on Jan. 18, following a judge’s application to remove the phrase “pets” from the law, so that it will cover all animals, including those without owners.
The decision was taken after a judge in the eastern province of Erzincan took an animal torture case that he had handled to the top court, in an attempt to push for changes to the country’s animal welfare laws.
The Turkish law does not inflict imprisonment for people torturing animals unless they are pets. The judge, who handled the case concerning a soldier’s torture of a kitten in December last year, was obliged by the law to grant the soldier’s release. In his application to the Constitutional Court, the judge stated the difference in the law concerning pets and stray animals was a violation of the charter and needed to be regulated.
Upon the judge’s application, the Constitutional Court put the case on its agenda and will discuss it on Jan. 18. If the judge’s application file is found to be complete in an initial examination, the top court will finalize the issue in an upcoming date, which will be later determined.
Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry has prepared a new draft law, enabling Turkish courts to give jail sentences for up to 4.5 years for all those found guilty of killing and torturing both pets and strays.
The ministry was reported to have sent the draft to related ministry departments across Turkey and demanded their opinions be expressed within a given period of time.