To the attention of the public:
The latest amendment to the animal rights law has recently become an agenda item and it threatens the right to life for both stray animals and domestic pets. As defenders of the right to life for all, we declared our objection to this amendment in our press statement at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and announced this publicly in social media on February 19, 2014.
The objections to this amendment were not limited with the animal rights advocates and were shared publicly by a larger crowd of people who seek justice. Our objections became an outcry when, in just a few days’, another regulation about live animal experiments that senselessly legalizes stray animals as laboratory equipment was published in the Official Newspaper.
All these are nothing but complete denial of rightful and humane demands and an unfortunate mockery of the efforts of animal rights activists, who have signed petitions, collected hundreds of thousands of signatures, worked in the streets in an attempt to voice animals’ sufferings, and begged for justice from local and state authorities.
The view that idealizes the modern day Europe solely for isolating animals from the cities that they conquered fails to realize that it is the same European civilization that has limited animal experiments if not fully prohibited them. The hypocrisy behind this paradox is beyond our comprehension.
Our local authorities have failed to properly care for the stray population despite the fact that our animal rights law has been in action for over ten years. With this in hand, we find it ridiculous to try to gather all the stray population in an isolated, far-away spot. The hardships of the so-called “natural habitat” are already familiar to us. Stray dogs that have been forced to live in the outskirts of Istanbul have been able to survive thanks to the invaluable financial and material support of a handful of volunteers.
Dogs and cats are not wild animals.
They are domestic animals.
Therefore their habitat is where the humans are; and not the forests. Stray animals are part of our history and cultural heritage. We have inherited from our Ottoman ancestors a traditional way of co-existing with the city’s stray dogs and cats and we will keep up with our efforts for protecting our strays no matter what. We will not ignore a companionship that dates back to 15 thousand years ago, just because a group of people behind their desks disagree with this.
We remind everybody of the fact that becoming human extends beyond being biologically human, and requires respect, justice, and mercy for all. Arguing with this is to take humanity for granted, and not us.
As a final note, we would like to make it very clear that any argument that involves the isolation, extermination, or any suggestion that suggests or implies animals’ right to birth, life, and death is non-negotiable.