Animal group files complaint against İstanbul Mayor Topbaş

January 13, 2011, Thursday/ 17:57:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

An animal rights group called Let’s Adopt has announced that they have filed charges against İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, saying they have significant evidence proving the illegal and inhuman treatment of animals being kept in the municipality’s shelter in İstanbul’s Hasdal neighborhood.

The group distributed pictures showing animals in deplorable conditions, including a golden retriever lying on a tiled-floor in a pool of blood, on the social networking site Facebook yesterday.

Viktor Larkhill, the spokesperson for the group, said they were filing charges and simultaneously launching a social media campaign against the mayor, whom they are accusing of breaking Animal Protection Act No. 5199. Larkhill said: “Istanbul is filled with animal lovers. It is time for them to make their voices truly heard.” “This year we are going to concentrate on making changes in Turkey. This won’t be possible without all of you. We need you by our side to make this happen,” he said, addressing the country’s animal activists. Law No. 5199 specifies that municipalities are required to neuter and return all stray animals to where they were taken from, in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to bring down stray populations.

Turkish municipalities have not adequately complied with the neuter-and-return policy of Act 5199 since it was passed in 2004.

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