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Turkish activists slam new bill on animal rights as ‘license to kill’

Although the new bill proposes heavier jail sentences to those who practice violence against stray animals, these sentences would still be light enough to be turned into fines.

HURRIYET DAILY NEWS: ‘The head of a leading activist group has slammed a new animal rights bill in the Turkish Parliament as a “license to kill,” opposing the government’s view that it could solve Turkey’s worsening problem of violence against stray animals. “The new bill simply tells the municipalities that they can keep killing stray animals as they want,” Metin Yıldırım, the chair of the Association to Protect Stray Animals and Environment… A series of violent attacks against stray animals shook Turkey in recent days, including the horrific killing of a puppy in the western province of Sakarya on June 15.

In the face of the public outrage, the Turkish government announced this weekend that a new ministerial bill for animal rights would be prioritized following the June 24 elections. The new government bill was sent to parliament in April, proposing animals in Turkey “are not property,” in a landmark change of perspective in Turkish law. Those who dare to torture animals will receive four months to three years in prison according to the new bill…

Although the new bill proposes heavier jail sentences to those who practice violence against stray animals, these sentences would still be light enough to be turned into fines. Equally important was the fact that, Yıldırım added, the municipalities could not be prosecuted without the approval of the Forest and Water Work Administration. “For a real solution, the minimum jail sentence in cases of violence against stray dogs should be at least three years and no officials should be kept exempt in any way,” Yıldırım stressed’. SOURCE…

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