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Is Walking Dogs Illegal in Iran? Yes, Here’s Why

Is Walking Dogs Illegal in Iran? Yes, Here’s Why, Transatlantic Today

A wave of arrests has recently occurred in Iran in light of a new law that declares that walking dogs in public is illegal. The law was enforced for public safety reasons. 

This rapid legal change has left many wondering: Is walking dogs illegal in Iran?

Yes, for right now–but authorities aren’t done. Another legislation is coming and could also restrict pet ownership across the board.

The proposed legislation will mean that Iranian citizens must obtain a permit to legally own a pet. Permits will be regulated by a special committee. 

The legislation will also introduce a minimum fine for importing, purchasing, transporting, and keeping common pets; including turtles, rabbits, and cats.

The bill has been widely debated for over a decade following an attempt from a group of MPs to promote a law to confiscate all dogs–giving them to zoos or displacing them in the desert. Corporate punishment for dog owners was also discussed, however, no progress on these laws had been made. 

Iran passed animal welfare laws in 1948, one of the first in the Middle East to do so. Though dog ownership was commonplace in rural areas, the new laws meant that dog ownership quickly became a status of urban life in the 20th century–thanks to the Irianian royal family’s influence and support.

However, the Islamic revolution in 1978 changed the lives of dog owners, because dogs are seen as “impure” in the Islamic religious tradition. Dog ownership was also viewed as a symbol of westernization, which was rejected by the government. 

At this time, citizens were frequently arrested if they were seen carrying or walking dogs in public, despite no real regulation of dog ownership. There were also reports of a pet “jail” where police kept the seized pets. 

The “jail” was designed to be a hostile environment for the “impure” pets, who have allegedly been left for days without food or water while their owners fought the Iranian legal system for reunification.

This comes as a massive blow to morale, especially with rising tensions after failed Iranian nuclear deal talks earlier on this month.

Currently, cat ownership is also in jeopardy, despite Iran being known as the birthplace of the Persian cat–which is one of the most famous breeds in the world. 

The news of the legislation has pet owners across the country concerned for the welfare of their pets and more laws regarding dog ownership are enforced. 

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