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New regulation on stray dogs: Local authorities to decide on euthanasia

New regulation on stray dogs: Local authorities to decide on euthanasia Local authorities in Türkiye to decide on euthanasia, strict penalties for non-compliance, and no more street releases (AA Photos)
By Yucel Kayaoglu
Jul 12, 2024 5:23 PM

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has proposed a new law aimed at eliminating stray dogs from city streets within two years. The proposal, currently seeking signatures and under discussion with parliamentary members, introduces stricter measures for managing stray dog populations.

Euthanasia regulation narrowed

The latest revision of the draft law restricts the euthanasia provision. Responsibility for euthanizing unclaimed dogs, after a month in shelters, now rests with local authorities. A committee of veterinarians within municipalities will decide on the euthanasia of dogs, particularly those deemed rabid, sick or aggressive.

Mandatory sheltering and care

Stray dogs that do not require euthanasia will undergo sterilization and vaccination, with a new policy preventing their release back onto the streets. Instead, these dogs will be housed and cared for in shelters. Local governments have a two-year deadline to establish shelters and round up stray dogs within their jurisdictions.

Local administrators failing to meet these obligations face imprisonment from one to three years. Repeat offenders will face increased penalties and may lose their eligibility for reelection.

Financial provisions

Municipalities must allocate 0.5% of their budgets for shelters and the care of stray dogs. This fund cannot be used for other expenses. Misuse of these funds will result in penalties for mayors.

Those abandoning pets or breeding banned dog breeds will be fined ₺60,000 per animal and will be prohibited from owning pets again.

End of street release practice

AK Party Group Chairman Abdullah Guler stated: “Previously, animals taken from the streets were sterilized, vaccinated, and released back. This practice will end under the new proposal. They will be housed in shelters. Animals that are unrehabilitable, aggressive, sick, rabid, or cannot be adopted will be euthanized. Municipalities are required to allocate part of their budget for shelters and the rehabilitation of stray animals. Those failing to comply will face inspections and penalties, including imprisonment. Responsibility will be enforced with appropriate penalties.”

Last Updated:  Jul 13, 2024 10:29 AM