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Bill Banning Dogs from Public Places Introduced in Parliament

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TEHRAN, April 14 (ICANA) - Members of Iran's parliament have sponsored a bill barring dogs from public places because they are "unclean" and keeping pets is an "un-Islamic" custom.
Thursday, April 14, 2011 2:12:25 PM
Bill Banning Dogs from Public Places Introduced in Parliament

Under the bill, dog owners will be banned from taking their pets out into public spaces and in vehicles. First-time offenders will be fined five million riyals (around 4,800 dollars) and will be given 10 days to dispose of their dog.

If the dog owner fails to comply with these rules, health authorities will be called in to remove the dog from its owner. It is unclear what would be done to the dog.

The health ministry has been asked to enforce the rules, as have city councils and the 280-member parliament’s culture committee.

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

Hardliners have moved to crack down on dog ownership, which has been on the rise in recent years in Iran, especially among citizens in the affluent neighborhoods of the capital, Tehran.

In June 2010, Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi issued a fatwa or religious edict against keeping dogs as pets, and police have 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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