İlker Kılıçaslan / Manisa, Aug 26 () - Nearly 100 animal rights advocates have staged a protest demonstration before the metropolitan municipality building in the western province of Manisa, after some 50 stray animals were allegedly killed by poison by unknown men last week.
Local stray animals were worse off because it was not clearly stated whether animal shelters were operated at the district or metropolitan level in Manisa, said Reyhan Elbirliler, the head of the Manisa Association for Protecting Animal Rights, an animal rights advocacy organization, during a press briefing after the protest.
“An authorization problem has been in place over [who should be] taking care of animal shelters in Manisa after Manisa got metropolitan status” said Elbirliler, adding stray animals were being left uncared for, as neither district municipalities nor the metropolitan municipality claimed the responsibility of caring for them.
The group of around 100 animal rights advocates marched in protest waving placards reading “It is all our fault,” “Humanity is dead” and “Animals have the right to life, too.”
A 5-year-old dog with a placard hung on his neck which read “I want to live” stood out in the crowd and received lots of attention from passers-by.
The Manisa Metropolitan Municipality, in response to the advocates’ call, said taking care of stray animals in Manisa was not solely the responsibility of the metropolitan municipality and the metropolitan municipality had made a decision authorizing district municipalities to take on part of the work of caring for the strays.
“District municipalities do not make good on the decision on separation of responsibility. [The Manisa Metropolitan Municipality] will make five shelters for stray animals,” the Manisa Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Halil Memiş said, adding district municipalities should take on their share in taking care of stray animals in Manisa.