Protests in Istanbul against euthanasia law for stray dogs

Too many stray dogs in Turkey, with a bill that proposes the mass capture and killing of four-legged dogs that are not adopted within 30 days

In Istanbul, thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest a proposed bill that would systematically euthanize stray dogs not adopted within 30 days. With slogans such as “Don’t stay silent, say no to the massacre,” the protesters gathered in Yenikapi Square to voice their dissent.

Proposed bill aims to euthanize millions of stray dogs

The bill, backed by the ruling AKP party, aims to euthanize approximately four million stray dogs in Turkey. According to official estimates, the Ministry of Agriculture reported a population of ten million stray animals in 2022. The proposal includes mass capture, sterilization, microchipping, and euthanasia for dogs not adopted within a month.

Animal rights supporters from all walks of life and political backgrounds strongly oppose the law, advocating for systematic sterilization campaigns instead of drastic measures. Many also fear that cats might become the next targets.

Stray dog issue linked to rabies cases

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that stray dogs are a significant problem, citing an increase in rabies cases. He argued that more radical methods are needed to address the issue, promoting sterilization and adoption campaigns to avoid the need for euthanasia. However, fears of mass extermination persist.

Stray dogs and cats are an integral part of daily life in Turkey, with many people caring for them. The World Health Organization indeed considers Turkey a high-risk country for rabies. In the past five years, there have been at least 55 deaths caused by dogs, either from bites or road accidents. A 2021 law requires municipalities to create animal shelters, but most Turkish municipalities have yet to fulfill this obligation.

Recent incidents, amplified by media and social networks, have shaken the country and fueled the debate. Despite the controversy, the Turkish government insists on finding an effective solution to the stray animal problem, balancing public safety and animal welfare. But is killing all these poor animals really the “solution”?

Source: Reuters

Condividi su Whatsapp Condividi su Linkedin