Turkey’s long-awaited animal rights legislation is underway


A much-anticipated animal rights bill that provides for prison sentences for anyone who kills, mistreats or tortures animals will be presented to the Turkish parliament in the coming days.

Final evaluations were made regarding the regulatory plan and a draft proposal was presented to President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan at the meeting of the Central Decision-Making Executive Committee of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) held. June 8.

Aimed at reducing incidents of violence against animals, some of which have even made headlines in recent years, the anticipated law will redefine animals as living things instead of “commodities” as is the case under current laws.

If the bill is enacted, the requested prison sentence for crimes against animals will be six months to four years, which is long enough to effectively block the means of releasing a person on bail or converting the prison sentence. in fine.

A judicial fine of at least 100 days will be imposed in addition to the prison sentence for sexual abuse of animals.

Prosecutors will be able to initiate an investigation ex officio without the need for a written request or complaint in the event that a person is caught “red handed” in crimes against animals.

Currently, any crime against animals is punished with light fines, and the courts have also handed down light sentences in a few exceptionally brutal cases.

According to the bill, if it is determined that a pet has been left on the street by its owner, the owner could face a fine of up to 2,000 Turkish liras ($ 232).

In addition, the law requires the sterilization of all stray animals within three or four years, assigning municipalities this task, including establishing animal shelters, providing rehabilitation services and administering vaccinations.

The animals will also be tagged with a microchip in order to track them correctly.

Owning, importing, buying, selling, advertising, trading or donating dangerous dog breeds and crossbreeds such as Pitbull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro will be prohibited.

Owners of animals of dangerous breeds will be able to care for their existing pets until death provided the animal is registered and sterilized.

These breeds will not be allowed to walk off a leash and will need to wear muzzles. They will also be prevented from entering places such as parks and gardens where children are present by the animal police in the event of complaints.

No regulations regarding the complete closure of animal facilities were included in the text of the proposal.

However, it is also reported that a regulation that would prevent the sale of cats and dogs only in pet stores was still on the agenda.

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