Taksim, Animal activist and welfare organizations in Turkey came together to rally against the government’s proposed changes to Turkey’s Animal Rights law 5199 that was issued in 2004.
The draft document which was prepared in secret and presented to Parliament this month, would abolish the current program of Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) of Turkey’s stray cats and dogs.
If the new proposal is passed it would mean that all free roaming animals (strays) would be captured and placed in “Dogal hayat parklari” (natural life parks).
Darlene Demren, just one of the 30,000 activists rallying in protest today in Taksim square, translated these statements from Hayvan and Hayvanlar, “This may sound nice but these parks will just be fenced off areas, probably forests, far from populated areas where hundreds or even thousands of animals will have to fend for themselves. Those that don’t die of starvation will probably suffer terrible injuries from fights, over limited food sources, and disease will spread through the population like wildfire.”
Demren went on to translate, “At the moment many municipalities do not employ a vet to neuter or treat street animals, some cannot even support the animal shelters in their own areas properly so who is going to care for the animals in these out of the way parks? There will be no way to check on their welfare or even to find out if animals were actually taken there at all or disposed of in some other way!! These “parks” will become nothing but mass death camps!”
There is also a breed specific (BSL) clause in the new proposal that all Pit bulls, Staffies, Dogos, Filas, and any breed of similar type (big headed dogs) must be surrendered to an animal shelter within 3 months. No dogs born after 2008 are grandfathered into this. The new law would prohibit the owners from even sending them out of Turkey to new homes. It could mean a massacre of pets and street dogs alike.
Animal activist groups like Hayvanlar ve Hayranlar (Animals and fans) and Hayvan Haklari Aktivistleri or Hayvist (Animal Rights Activist), are protesting the new laws the Turkish Government are trying to put in place, and had animal activist at today’s rally.
Petitions to stop the stray death camps:
Turkey plans to kill all stray animals!
Prime Minister of Turkey: please drop the 2012 amendment
The Prime Minister of Turkey: Stop Turkey’s proposed Death Camps for stray animals!
The fight for Turkey’s stray animals, event page.
The next rally is set for October 7th.
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