Iran imposes ban on walking dogs in public
Iranian authorities have reportedly imposed a ban that prohibits owners walking their dogs in public after it is believed it represents a “cultural problem” due to imitation of western society.
Dogs in Iran have always been considered as ‘najis’ which basically means unclean and due to the low ownership levels, pet dogs were often tolerated. Authorities have now noticed a huge increase in the number of pet dogs, mainly owned by the middle class, across Iran. In a fightback, the authorities have issued a pan on walking dogs in public or driving them around in cars.
Already there are laws against advertising pet products in magazines and other media. An underground pet industry has begun online with many websites springing up where you can buy and learn about dogs on the Internet.
Deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan said that ““We will confront those who walk their dogs in the streets. Cars carrying dogs will also be impounded,”
Reports in Iran suggest that the new ban is having the desired effect. Owners are now walking their dogs in secluded areas and getting visits by vets to their homes.
Dogs have always been popular in Iran such as guard dogs, sheep dogs and hounds used in hunting, but the authorities are against dogs being used as pets which they see as a strong Western influence. In 2010, Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirzi said that having a dog as a pet was “blind imitation of western culture.” And that this would lead to damaged societal values and family breakups. He even says that many people love their dogs more than their wives and children.
Pet shop owner Soroush Mobaraki, 34, says that “There has been a sharp increase in demand for dogs in recent years.”
“We sell 15 to 20 dogs a month, but I know some other traders who sell many more.”
“They want to have a dog (to brag), like they want to have an expensive luxury car.”
Mobaraki never keeps dogs on his premises and will not disclose his website address due to fears of retribution. He will only deliver a dog once an order is placed. A dark underground network of puppy farms is also growing due to the boom in the market where puppies are kept in poor and cramped conditions.