Target: Justice and Development Party Deputy Selçuk Özdağ
Goal: Thank the Turkish government for instituting measures against animal cruelty
Turkey has taken a momentous step for animal welfare: From now on, anyone who owns or sells pets must have a certificate that proves they are able to properly care for the animal and meet all of its basic needs. The Turkish government has also furthered the cause of animal cruelty laws, and has introduced legislation to address the environmental impact of pets as well as the welfare of animals used in experiments.
Huge numbers of stray dogs and cats roam Turkish cities, but they are often treated as communal pets, protected from the elements and given food and shelter on doorsteps. Others, however, don’t fare as well—dogs are considered unclean in many Muslim countries—and Turkey has lacked comprehensive welfare laws to protect these animals from harm.
The new laws ban the sale of all animals except birds and fish from pet stores, and those found guilty of torture and abuse or neglect of animals will receive jail time. Unfortunately, animal fighting has not yet been addressed by the Turkish government. Even so, the revision of welfare laws will help countless animals and crack down on neglect and abuse.
These are the first crucial steps toward wide-spread welfare regulations for animals, and they have opened the door to discussions for future steps. Sign the petition below to thank the Turkish government for taking a stand against animal abuse.
Dear Deputy Selçuk Özdağ,
Thank you for making significant changes in Turkey’s animal welfare laws. Under new legislation, animal abuse will finally be punishable by prison time, and pet owners will have to prove themselves capable of providing for their animals. An obligation to take an animal to the veterinarian has also been introduced, and experimental work on animals will be restricted as well. Until this point, Turkey has lacked comprehensive animal cruelty laws, and this legislation will hopefully open the way for continued action.
I am grateful that the Turkish government has taken such strong action to protect animals, and I urge the government to continue to fight for animal rights and far-reaching reforms that would also address animal fights and other cruelty. These are just the first steps to protecting the lives of animals in Turkey, but they are admirable and worthy of commendation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Columbo 222 via Wikimedia Commons