In Iran, adopting a pet could now lead to prison

A wave of arrests of pets and their owners in the Iranian capital has sparked outrage from civil society and pet owners. A bill prohibiting “to breed, buy or sell; to transport, to walk in a vehicle or on foot; and to keep wild, exotic, harmful and dangerous animals at home” would be at the origin of these detentions, underlines the site of the BBC, which devotes an article to this improbable scenario.

Payam Mohebi, president of the Iranian Veterinary Association, told the BBC that this debate is more than a decade old. A group of deputies then tried to pass a law aimed at confiscating pet dogs. From now on, the bill extends to all pets.

A bill that is already having concrete effects. So, Masha testifies in the article of the BBC of his fear of going out even though the law has not yet been passed: “He gives me wide, innocent looks, as if to ask me to take him out, but I don’t dare for fear of having us arrested”, laments the young woman.

Detention center

Even though there is no “strong regulations regarding dog ownership”, Iranian veterinarian Ashkan Shemirani, interviewed by the BBC, denounces police authorities who take the liberty of arresting people and animals in public spaces on the sole pretext of “Westernization” in opposition to the regime.

The forces of order have effectively set up a “jail” devoted to the animals they capture. The living conditions there are disastrous. Ashkan Shemirani recounts testimonies claiming that the animals were “Kept for several days without food or water, while their owners were mistreated by the jurisdiction in place”, laments the veterinarian.

Symbol of “Westernization”

Paradoxically, the country that today calls for a categorical ban on pets was the first in the Middle East to adopt laws for the protection of animals, in 1948. Moreover, in rural areas of Iran, the dog sitting has always been common.

But since the Islamic revolution of 1979, the daily life of Iranians and their domestic animals, particularly dogs, has changed, underlines the BBC.

Pets have become a symbol of urban life and“Westernization” in the eyes of the mullahs’ regime, which considers animals as impure, referring to Islamic tradition.

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