Proposed law to cull stray dogs sparks controversy in Türkiye

The Turkish government's proposal to pass a law that would allow the culling of stray dogs has sparked intense debate in the country. Agriculture and Forestry Minister Ibrahim Yumakli argues that: "This measure is necessary due to the high number of homeless dogs, which is estimated at approximately four million." Through his social networks, Yumakli stated that: "These animals constitute a threat to public safety, as they have the potential to cause accidents and transmit rabies. The number of homeless dogs is estimated to be around four million; it is not known precisely because they can give birth once or twice a year and have up to 6 or 8 puppies, and they change location frequently."

Yumakli goes on to mention statistics on traffic accidents. “According to data from the Ministry of Interior, in the past five years, 3,534 traffic accidents caused by collisions with animals have been recorded, resulting in 55 deaths and 5,147 injuries.”

While Yumakli admits that sterilisation would be the preferred option to control the stray dog ​​population, he maintains that efforts in this area have been insufficient. "According to scientists, the dog population can be controlled by sterilising 70% of the population in one year. However, in the past five years, only an average of 260,000 sterilisations have been achieved annually, with a maximum of 350,000 in one year," the minister said.

In addition, according to Efe, the minister noted a worrying increase in "contacts with a risk of contracting rabies" although he did not offer specific details on the number of cases detected. The lack of detailed information on this aspect has generated uncertainty among the population.

The government's proposal has been criticized by various sectors of Turkish society, including the well-known pop singer Ajda Pekkan, who has protested against the culling of stray dogs. Pekkan and other anonymous citizens advocate the implementation of alternative measures, such as mass sterilization, and argue against the culling of these animals.

The situation of stray dogs in Turkey varies significantly by region. Some dogs are well-fed and peaceful, while others form aggressive packs that create fear in neighborhoods. Controversy over how to address this problem persists, as the Turkish government continues to move forward with its legislative proposal.


In the 20th century, the Netherlands introduced a strict Animal Protection Law, which imposes penalties of up to three years in prison and significant fines for animal abuse or neglect. The Dutch consider their dogs to be part of the family, fostering a culture of caring for and respecting animals.

Thanks to sterilisation programmes and the work of organisations such as Dierenbescherming and the Party for the Animals, the stray dog ​​population in the country has been eliminated. The Netherlands has implemented measures to control animal overpopulation, including government-funded sterilisation campaigns and tax increases on the purchase of pedigree dogs. The SOS Strays organisation helps to adopt abandoned dogs from other countries, while since 2011, the 'Animal Cops' have ensured animal protection in the Netherlands.


In Spain, the high levels of abandonment of pets are a cause for concern, being the country with the worst figures in Europe according to the Affinity Foundation.

Although there has been a slight reduction in the number of animals arriving at shelters and animal shelters, there are still worrying figures, such as the 137,831 dogs and cats collected last year.

Behavioural problems and unwanted litters are the main reasons for abandonment, highlighting the need to promote sterilisation, identification and responsible adoption. Despite educational efforts, abandonment remains a significant challenge in Spain, where it is estimated that an animal is abandoned every four minutes.
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn WhatsApp
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services and technical reasons, to improve your browsing experience, to store your preferences and, optionally, to show you advertising related to your preferences by analyzing your browsing habits. We have included some configuration options that allow you to tell us exactly which cookies you prefer and which you don't. Press ACCEPT to consent to all cookies. Press CONFIGURATION to decide the options you prefer. To obtain more information about our cookies, access our Cookies Policy here: More information
Accept Decline Manage Cookies