AKP's stray dog bill 'has to include euthanasia clause'

The Justice and Development Party's (AKP) draft law concerning stray animals will include a euthanasia clause to ensure the protection of other animals, the ruling party's parliamentary leader has said.

The proposal, which includes euthanizing unadopted animals within 30 days, has been a prominent topic on the national agenda for an extended period.

"There has to be euthanization," Abdullah Güler said during a televised interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk on June 19.

Under the draft bill, dogs exhibiting aggression, forming packs, having anatomical deformities, or posing a rabies risk will be collected. Dogs assessed as harmless will be allowed to remain on the streets.

Collected dogs deemed capable of living in shelters will be segregated, while those not adopted within a month will face euthanasia.

"We have animals that are at risk of rabies, are diseased, cannot be adopted and have difficulty feeding. Therefore, you have to protect the health of other animals in the shelter," Güler explained.

The practice will be defined as "euthanasia" in the law, not "killing" or "putting to sleep," with the decision to euthanize being made by shelter veterinarians and public administrators, he informed.

The controversial bill is expected to be presented before the parliament goes into recess in July.

Recently, there has been an increase in the media coverage of dog attacks and traffic accidents caused by chases, some fatal.

Güler said the draft law was prepared following extensive consultations with individuals affected by such incidents.

"Streets are not safe areas for animals. There is cold, hunger, attacks and diseases, so our animals need to be taken to safe areas," he added.

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