The Turkish government is readying fundamental changes to an animal protection law, following a collaborative effort led by three ministries and animal rights organizations.
According to the new draft, which is expected to be put on the cabinet’s agenda in the following weeks, those who rape, beat or kill animals will be charged with a two year prison term. The draft also prohibits the breeding and selling of pit bulls in Turkey and will eventually make it illegal to own the breed.
The new law also regulates pet shops. After the amendment pet shops will no longer be allowed to sell “predacious animals,” with dogs and cats.Three months after the
amendment is put into place, all pit bull owners will have to turn over their dogs to animal shelters.
Inflicting physical or psychological torture on animals, starving them or forcing them to stay in places of extreme temperature also will be forbidden. Those who violate this law will be fined.
Drivers who hit stray animals on the street will be responsible for taking the injured animal to an animal hospital and will also be required to pay the animals medical expenses.
Only municipalities will be allowed to conduct the spaying and neutering of animals. This service will be coordinated by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock. Municipalities will have mobile services for spaying and neutering.
The law change will also limit the number of pets allowed to be kept in the house. Regulations will determine the limit and it will no longer be legal to keep dozens of cats and dogs in a house. The rights of animals have been protected inTurkey by law since 2004.