Thursday, April 14, 2011

Iran may ban dogs from public places

TEHRAN: Iranian MPs have submitted a bill in parliament that asks for barring of dogs from public places because the animals are "unclean" and keeping pets was an "un-Islamic" custom. 

Besides being "unclean", keeping dogs as pets goes against Iranian values, as it is a practice that indicates the influence of Western culture, according the 39 MPs who tabled the bill. 

Under the clauses of the bill, dog owners will be banned from taking their pets to public spaces and in vehicles, according to Iran's state news agency IRNA. 

First-time offenders will be fined five million riyals ($4,800) and will be given 10 days to dispose off their dog. 

If the dog owner fails to comply with the rules, health authorities will be called in to remove the dog from its owner. 

It was, however, not clear what would be done to the dog. 

Dog ownership has been on the rise in recent years in Iran, especially among citizens in the affluent neighbourhoods of the capital city of Tehran

In June 2010, Iran's Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi issued a fatwa (or religious edict) against keeping dogs as pets, and police fined dog owners and confiscated pets from streets and parks. 

An exception has been made for working canines such as guard dogs and sheep dogs.

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