Iran Bans Public Dog Walking To Discourage Dog Ownership
According to Hossein Rahimi, the Chief of Police in Tehran, Iran, certain people bringing their dogs to public places in the country’s capital cause anxiety and panic in the general population, and thus, dog-walking has been banned.
Additionally, Rahimi said that local police have been given the authority to ‘confront’ dog owners who are walking their pets.
In an interview with the country’s state news agency the Young Journalists Club (YJC), Rahimi added that people who walked their dogs in public places would be severely dealt with.
Additionally, Rahimi said that dogs are not allowed to be in cars, and that police will ‘seriously’ confront dog owners who let their dogs ride in their cars.
This comes as Iranian and cleric officials have long campaigned to discourage dog ownership due to religious stigma, despite the fact that Iran’s middle class has embraced them as loving and loyal companions for years.
In 2010, a fatwa, or religious ruling, was issued by a senior Iranian cleric about the uncleanliness of dogs. The fatwa ruled that dogs were not to be kept as pets, as befriending pets indicated ‘blind imitation’ of the West, according to a quote by Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi in the Iranian paper Javan Daily. The Grand Ayatollah said that people in the West loved dogs more than their wives and children, and that was not what the Iranian state wanted.
Despite the fatwa, the modern middle class of Tehran has embraced dog ownership. Now, that defiance may be even more difficult with the newest rulings and consequences. Those consequences haven’t yet been defined as more than ‘seriously’ but proposals in 2014 called for pet owners who walked their dogs in public to be subject to 74 lashes (flogging) or a fine of $2,000 USD).
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