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Iran ban on pet: Di kontri wia having a pet fit land you for jail soon

  • By Ali Hamedani
  • BBC World Service

Wia dis photo come from, Getty Images

wetin we call dis photo,

New legislation fit get drastic implications for pet ownership for Iran

“E look at me with im innocent and beautiful eyes. E dey ask me to take am out for a walk, but I no fit. Dem go arrest us.”

Mahsa, one dog owner from Tehran, dey refer to some arrests of pet owners and as dey seize dia animals in di city.

Police for Iranian capital recently announce say walking of dogs for di city parks na “crime”.

Dem justify di ban as a measure to “protect di safety of di public”.

At di same time, after months of debates, di Iranian parliament fit soon approve one bill wey dem title Protection of di Public’s Rights Against Animals, wey go restrict pet ownership across di board.


According to the terms of the new proposed law, pet ownership fit dey subject to a permit issued by a special committee. Di law also establish a minimum fine of around $800 for di “import, purchase and sale, transportation and keeping” of some animals, including common household pets such as cats, tortoise and rabbit.

“Debates around dis bill start more dan ten years ago wen a group of Iranian MPs try to promote a law to seize all dogs and give dem to zoos or leave dem for deserts,” Dr Payam Mohebi, president of di Iran Veterinary Association, and opponent of di bill, tell BBC.

“Over di years, dem don change am a couple of times and even discuss corporal punishment for dog owners. But dia plan no go anywia,” Dr Mohebi add.

Wia dis photo come from, Courtesy of Dr Payam Mohebi

wetin we call dis photo,

Dr Payam Mohebi, president of the Iran Veterinary Association, openly dey against the new bill

Symbol of Iranian urban life

Keeping dogs don’t always dey common for Iran rural areas, but di animals also become a symbol of urban life for 20th Century.

Iran na one of di first contris for Middle East to pass animal welfare laws, for 1948, and di goment fund di institution to strengthen animal rights. Even di kontri royal family bin get dia dogs.

But the 1979 Islamic revolution changed many aspects of life for Iranian citizens and dogs.

Wia dis photo come from, Iranian Royal Family Collection

wetin we call dis photo,

Dogs become a symbol of urban life for Iran during the 20th Century and even di kontri royal family keep dem

Di animals dey considered as impure for Islamic tradition. In di eyes of di new regime, dogs also become a symbol of di “westernisation” wey authorities seek to limit.

“Solid regulation on owning a dog neva dey,” Dr Ashkan Shemirani, one Tehran-based veterinarian, told the BBC.

“Police forces arrest pipo for walking dia dogs or even carrying dem in dia cars based on dia interpretation of symbols of westernisation.”

jails for dogs

“Dem even create a prison for di animals, and we hear loads of horror tori dem from dat place,” im add.

Wia dis photo come from, Getty Images

wetin we call dis photo,

Dogs dey considered as impure animals in Islamic tradition, and some see others as a symbol of “westernisation”

“Dem keep di animals for many days in open areas witout proper food or water while di dog owners dey go through all kinds of legal trouble.”

Iran economic palava after years of Western sanctions don also play a part in the new bill. Authorities don ban imports of pet food for ova three years as part of a push to preserve di kontri foreign currency reserves.

In a landscape wey dey dominated by foreign brands, dis one means a spike in prices, especially afta di establishment of one underground market.

“We dey highly dependent on pipo wey dey smuggle in food secretly,” one veterinary clinic owner for di city of Mashhad told BBC.

“Di prices now dey five times of wetin dem dey just a few months ago.”

Say business owner claim say locally produced pet food no dey up to standard.

“Di quality dey very poor. Factories dey use cheap meat or fish, even expired ingredients.”

‘cat trouble’

But di new legislation not only dey aimed at dogs. Cats also dey included on a list of animals – even crocodiles dey mentioned.

Iran also dey known as the birthplace of Persian cats, one of the world’s most famous breeds.

wetin we call dis photo,

Di bill fit make Persian cats dey outlawed despite say na from Iran di cat originate from

“You fit believe say now Persian cats no safe for dia homeland?” one Tehran-based vet tells BBC.

“Logic no dey behind dis law. Di hardliners wan show dia iron fists to pipo,” di vet add.

Dr Mohebi, from the Iranian Veterinary Association President, called for the proposed law “embarrassing”.

“If parliament pass di bill, di next generations go remember us as pipo wey ban dogs becose dem be dogs and pipo wey ban cats becos dem be cats.”

Pet owners like Masha dey genuinely worried about the future of dia pets.

“I don’t go dare to apply for permission for my ‘son’,” she tok.

“What if dem refuse my application? I don’t fit leave am on di street.”

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