Dogs No Longer Man’s Best Friend in Iran

Travel News, Travel Tips — By Candice Walsh on May 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Pet ownership is gone to the dogs in Iran, and soon might even become illegal.

Iran has always had a troublesome relationship with canines, beginning with the Islamic Revolution in the ’70s. Public authorities were known to seize animals in the street, or publish information about the “perils of pooch harbouring.” Kinda like harboring a fugitive. Dogs were reportedly sent to doggy prison, with rumours of starvation running rampant.

But now the Iranian parliament wants to phase out dog ownership all together, meaning people won’t be allowed to have dogs in their apartments or exercise them in public places. Why? Apparently dogs pose health hazards, and the growing popularity of dog ownership “poses a cultural problem to blind imitation of the vulgar Western culture.” If the legislation is put forth, fines between 60-305 GBP could be laid, and animals confiscated.

Image: Hamed Saber/Flickr

According to one Member of Parliament, men in the West love their dogs more than their wives and children. (We can’t help but think, sometimes, who can blame him?)

Special allowances are made for certain dogs, of course…like guard dogs, sheep dogs, and drug-sniffers. But the moment they become a beloved household member, the government stops being happy. And as if that wasn’t enough to worry about, lately dog snatchers driving by on scooters have taken to stealing away poor pooches and selling them at downtown bazaars.

This is probably one of the first “dog banning” initiatives taken on by an entire country. In many places around the world, certain breeds are banned (i.e. pit bulls in the UK), but not pet ownership on the whole. Fortunately, no mention has been made of cat ownership yet, so Iranian crazy cat people can breathe easy for a little longer.

Planning a trip with your pet to Iran anytime soon? We strongly recommend triple-checking current policy before taking your dog with you.

Tags: banned dogs, illegal dogs, Iran bans dogs

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