Microchip fine stands as obstacle to adoption of quake-struck animals

Several quake-struck animals who have lost their owners are waiting to be adopted; however, for those who have not been previously microchipped, an administrative fine of 3,642 liras needs to be paid by the new owners. The Turkish Veterinarians’ Association called for the implementation to be changed.

Ardıl Batmaz / Gazete Duvar

Citizens who would like to adopt animals that have lost their owners during the Feb. 6-dated major earthquakes, are facing a fine of 3,642 liras if the pets were not previously implanted with microchips.

The president of the Turkish Veterinarians’ Association (TVHB), Murat Arslan, said that the implementation needs to be changed for the animals rescued from the quakes or the deadline for the microchip installment needs to be extended.

As part of a regulation that came into effect last year, the government mandated pet owners to have their animals microchipped by Dec. 31, 2022. The authorities announced that an administrative fine of 3,642 liras would be imposed on people who have not had their pets older than 6 months fitted with a chip by this date. However, as several animals have been left without owners due to the Feb. 6-dated major earthquakes, citizens who would like to adopt them are facing this fine.

“There is a problem here. People would like to own them, but once the animals are registered within the system, the fine process starts,” said TVHB president Arslan.

“With 16 teams that we formed in the (quake-hit provinces of) Maraş, Hatay, Adıyaman, Malatya and their districts, we have established tent treatment centers and also assigned voluntary vets in the municipalities’ shelters. We have treated the animals saved from rubble in these centers and handed some back to their owners. But there are many animals whose owners are not alive and have not been yet microchipped. These animals need to be rehomed,” he said. 

(English version by Didem Atakan)