Spokesperson for the stray dog issues platform, lawyer Devrim Koçak, told Anadolu (AA) Agency that the platform was established after high school student Mehmet Özer died in January 2019 after being attacked by 25 stray dogs in Kayseri.
Expressing that there is currently a threat of stray dogs on the streets of Turkey, Koçak compared people crossing the streets with dogs to “walking trying not to step on a mine”.
Recalling that there were people who were injured and even lost their lives after being attacked by dogs, Koçak explained that they had opened an account on Twitter with the username “KopekSorunu” in order to raise the voices of victims and draw attention to this threat.
Expressing that they share on social networks and trying to create public opinion, Koçak noted that the number of subscribers has reached around 35,000 people in a short time.
Expressing that there are gaps in legal regulations regarding aggressive and threatening stray dogs, Koçak pointed out that Animal Protection Law No. 5199 is based on the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights published by UNESCO.
Stating that there is no such document published by UNESCO, Koçak said: “The justification gives examples of countries like Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden, but as we know, there is no stray dog population like ours. in these countries. Therefore, the law does not coincide with the realities of life. Stray dogs that attack and pose a threat and the corresponding procedure are not mentioned.” mentioned.
Arguing that it is not possible to try to do public service by volunteers on a subject where human life is at stake, Koçak continued:
“This law has been updated and revised with Law No. 7332 in 2021. The revision has made the situation worse. In the event of a stray dog attack, even if there is injury or death, that dog will be caught, rehabilitated and left in the same place after 10 days. Reason and logic do not accept such a law. There can be no such law. Besides the danger and threat of attack, the risk of rabies and similar diseases and the danger arising from the inability to reach the rabies vaccine are also serious.Animal Protection Law No. 5199 must be amended taking into account hygiene, human health and safety.
“We want this threat to be eliminated”
Stating that even dog owners complain about strays, Devrim Koçak pointed out that these dogs can be found all over the city.
Explaining that while dogs with owners are not allowed on public transport, Koçak said: “A stray dog is a danger in itself. He can attack at any time. street, he might attack”. So where did he stay in the streets and beaches of my country? “It is a big problem if a person is unable to feel safe in the streets, public places and public spaces in his country because of dogs. Therefore, we want this threat eliminated. he said.
Koçak, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, “The place of orphaned animals is not the street, but the shelters.” Recalling his pledge, he said municipalities, governorates and the ministry should work on this issue.
Pointing out that after the dog attacks, some animal lover associations shared that there were poisoned dogs, Koçak said:
“In this incident they are trying to put the stray dog issue, which has been on the agenda for children who have lost their lives, off the agenda by intervening and releasing the videos too late to see or warn the suspected poisoner, and early enough to take videos and photos.However, it is a scientific fact that sterilization and other interventions in the short period of 10 days under the name of rehabilitation will not be effective to eliminate or reduce the dog’s aggression.
“Castration is an impossible preventive process”
Büşra Nur Karadeniz, a member of the Stray Dog Problem platform, said children cannot play safely because there are herds of dogs in the parks.
Stating that 3 children lost their lives to dog attacks in the last month alone, Karadeniz said, “People are looking for a place to raise their voices on stray dog attacks. At this stage, they also apply on our platform. “is an attack, they come to us via direct message from social networks. Our number of subscribers in the last few days. It started to increase rapidly.” mentioned.
Karadeniz, who wants the stray dog issue resolved as soon as possible, said:
“Even a single stray dog on the street is a danger. We will continue our fight until the provisions of Animal Welfare Law No. 5199, which specifically states that stray dogs are returned to where they were taken by the administration. , are amended. As part of this fight, we are preparing the creation of a website. In this context, we will also continue our fight. We will also try to provide legal support to people who have exposed to dog attacks.
Stating that there are estimated to be around 10 million stray dogs in Turkey, Karadeniz pointed out that the sterilization process, which is suggested as a solution, is an “impossible” process in terms of technique, cost and time. .
Arguing that these measures will not work in dog attacks, Karadeniz added that if an effective solution is not found, an increase in similar attacks will be inevitable.
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