A mobile application that shows the locations of stray dogs has stirred a public debate on the grounds that it targets animals and causes their deaths.
Many people, including famous artists, claim that a large number of dogs were killed due to Havrita, a website and mobile application described as a “stray dog map,” in which areas with stray dogs are marked and photographed, demanding the site be closed immediately.
Emphasizing that the users are not well-intentioned, lawyer Gülsaniye Ekmekçi, the head of the Istanbul Bar Association’s Human Rights Center, said, “It can be inferred from the cases in the marked areas that Havrita is an application created by people who want the animals on the street to be collected and killed.”
“Street animals in the marked areas are either poisoned or killed in other ways as this application clearly targets them. There is no guarantee that someone who feeds at a marked spot will not be a victim of violence,” said Deniz Tavşancıl Kalafatoğlu, another lawyer from Istanbul Bar Association’s Human Rights Center.
Underlining that violence, torture and rape against animals are also within the scope of crime, according to the animal protection law, Kalafatoğlu said, “Any practice that targets a life is against the law.”
Access to the website and application must be blocked, she added.
Stating that the authorities do not give the animals the necessary care, Kalafatoğlu said, “The solution is not to kill them, but for the authorities to do their duty.”
Noting they created the application after the death of a 10-year-old girl who was hit by a truck while escaping from stray dogs, lawyer Devrim Koçak, the spokesperson of the platform that created Havrita, said, “The purpose of the platform is for the victims to come together.”
When you see a herd of dogs or are attacked, you take a photo, specify the location and upload it to the system to warn families in that area and to prevent a possible death, said Koçak.
“The world is not only for humans, but don’t we also have the right to live? There is no such thing as ‘animal rights,’ but human rights and animal welfare,” Koçak said.
There should be no dogs on the street, the state should find a solution to this urgently, he added.
While there are nearly 5,000 marks in Havrita, “dog attack” and “stray dog gang” are some of these warnings.
Other warnings include “hospital/park/school/social area,” “dog-related accident” and “natural life threat.” In the application, it is said that “Havrita does not target stray dogs, individuals and organizations” and that the responsibility belongs to the user in the case of a crime.
Hurriyet Daily News