AKP proposes stray dog euthanasia amid safety concerns

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has evaluated the issue of euthanizing stray animals with an amendment to the Animal Rights Law, which it has been working on for some time.

The proposal, reportedly spurred by recent dog attacks and backed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will soon be submitted to Parliament.

The AKP argues that the current system of sterilization is insufficient to control the stray dog population and fails to address public safety concerns.

The party claims that the high cost of sterilization, lack of space for shelters and difficulties in coordination between ministries create an insurmountable hurdle in dealing with the problem.

Under the proposed law, stray dogs would be photographed and listed for adoption on a government website. After a 30-day waiting period, unadopted animals would be euthanized by injection. The process would be repeated continuously as new strays are brought into shelters.

AKP officials point to similar practices in U.K., Italy and Portugal as models for their proposal. Animal rights groups argue that euthanasia is inhumane and that resources should be directed toward improving sterilization programs and promoting responsible pet ownership.

The 2021 Animal Rights Law, which mandated pet microchipping and penalized pet abandonment, also included a provision for sterilization of stray animals. However, the euthanasia option was ultimately removed due to public pressure.

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