* Photograph: Female and male lions held captive in zoo / Çiçek Tahaoğlu, 2011.
Click to read the article in Turkish
Several municipalities have been holding a series of different events on the occasion of the October 4 World Animal Day, several shops have made discounts in their animal products.
As for the human rights defenders in Turkey, where there are continuing and systematic animal rights violations and torture of animals as well as an absence of an animal protection law and impunity, they have not been celebrating the World Animal Day.
"We do not wish a happy World Animal Day"
The Committee for Monitoring Animal Rights (HAKİM) has stated, "When animals are being subjected to cruelty in the sectors and places such as slaughterhouses, shelters, production facilities, experiment laboratories, phaetons, zoos, dolphin parks, aquariums, circuses, hunts, animal fights, pet shops, fur and leather production facilities and animal import and transportation, we will not celebrate the World Animal Day."
In their banners which read "We Do Not Wish a Happy World Animal Day", the Animal Rights Confederation (HAYTAP) has said, "As people who have been cooperating to put an end to torture of animals for 365 days, we are saying "NO" to all people and institutions that try to fit all this cruelty into 1 sham day and calling everyone who carries a heart and conscience to, at least, abide by the existing laws and to have 'MERCY' for 365 days."
"40 animal rights violations in six months"
The animal news website ajanimo.com has also released a statement on its website on the occasion of the World Animal Day. The website has stated, "We wish that we could give you such news as 'October 4 World Animal Day has been celebrated in our country with enthusiasm'" and shared the animal rights violations reported in the media for the last six months. The website has shared 40 cases of animal torture, rape and killing across Turkey.
In the meanwhile, various events have been held by several district municipalities to mark the World Animal Day. However, among these municipalities have also been the ones, where human rights violations have been frequently encountered.
About October 4 World Animal Day
According to the WorldAnimalDay.org.uk, the origin and story of the World Animal Day is as follows:
"The idea of World Animal Day was originated by Heinrich Zimmermann, the German writer and publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Human and Dog. He organized the first World Animal Day on March 24, 1925 in Berlin and moved it to October 4 for the first time in 1929. Initially he found a following only in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia. Every year Zimmermann worked tirelessly on the promotion of World Animal Day. Finally, in May 1931 at a congress of the world's animal protection organizations in Florence Italy, his proposal to make October 4 World Animal Day universal, was unanimously accepted.
"World Animal Day was chosen to be on October 4 as it is the day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, including animals. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) was the founder of the Catholic Franciscan order. Legend has it that Saint Francis was able to talk to animals, which is why he is depicted in numerous paintings in their company. He would also preach to the animals and even tamed a wolf."
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