The Justice and Development Party (AKP) presented to the President of Turkey a bill to amend the Law on the Protection of Animals and the Turkish Penal Code, which was passed by the parliament.

In the bill, animals are defined as “living things” and not as “property or goods.”

The provisions introduced by the bill are as follows:

1)The current regulation defines animals in the “commodity” category as “live” and applies appropriate sanctions. 2)The definition of “decorative animal” is completely excluded from the law.
3)The law adds the concept of “rehabilitation”, which includes treatment and control of parasites of stray animals, vaccination and digital identification.
4)Cat and dog owners are required to register their animals using a digital identification method.
5)Selling cats and dogs at pet stores is prohibited, but there are no barriers to selling other animals.
6)Also, the performances of wild animals in circuses and the work of dolphinariums are prohibited.
7)An amendment to the law expanded the scope of crimes against animals. the law introduces the concept of proper pet maintenance and provides monetary penalties for owners who do not take good care of their four-legged companions. People convicted of cruelty to an animal can face imprisonment – up to four years for taking the life of a pet.