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New Animal Welfare Bill for Discussion at Turkish Parliament

By Alejandra Pousa, 08/06/21

A. Gül, the Minister of Justice, announced on Twitter today that a new long awaited animal protection bill is about to be passed for discussion and, hopefully, for approval at the Parliament before summer recess.

Vague terms like ''sahipli'' or ''sahipsiz'' (with or without an owner) nowadays let certain categories, like protected species of animals, fall through the legal cracks of the 5199 law, as well as notions like ill-treatment, or mental and physical well-being be currently defined by so-called humane keepers.

The main philosophical difference between 2004's law 5199 and the new bill is the idea of considering animals as live beings and not just commodities. This would enable, not only the Ministry of Agriculture but prosecutors too to hold owners to a new level of responsibility.

New provisions for microchipping; sales of animals online from reputable breeders, instead of crammed anti hygienic pet shops;  neutering and spaying at local municipalities; stronger penalties, not only in terms of fines but longer jail sentences (3 months - 5 years), are some of the features of the new project meant to curtail pet theft - abandoning, animal fights, animal hoarding, and irresponsible breeding.

Declaring animals as sentient beings with a right to be given due regard when formulating and implementing policies, might be a bit of a far cry for the time being but, when approved, this new law is a step in the right direction.

Source: Hürriyet



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