The long-awaited bill will ban the sale of cats and dogs by pet shops and prohibit land-based and water circuses and dolphin parks.

Turkish citizens found an abandoned dog tied to a tree with a steel wire in the forest, while they were collecting mushrooms in Mersin, Turkey on June 18, 2021.
Turkish citizens found an abandoned dog tied to a tree with a steel wire in the forest, while they were collecting mushrooms in Mersin, Turkey on June 18, 2021. (AA)

Animals will no longer be seen as products, says Turkey's ruling party as it submits a long-awaited bill to combat animal cruelty to the Parliament's Speaker Office.

Turkey's Justice and Development (AK) Party on Thursday submitted a bill on animal rights which would ban the sale of cats and dogs by pet shops and prohibit land-based and water circuses and dolphin parks.

Under the bill, “animals will no longer be seen as products, but as life," Mahir Unal, the party's deputy parliamentary group chair, told reporters in parliament.

"Cat and dog owners will be required to have digital IDs, and their abandonment will face sanctions," he said.

The bill will first face parliament's Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs Committee.

"We hope to pass this bill before parliament’s (summer) recess, keeping our promise (to the nation)," he added.

The bill is expected to be debated next week by the committee.

On June 8, AK Party spokesman Omer Celik told reporters that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pushing for the law’s passage.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies