Iran: Dog owning punishable by 74 lashes

by Bronwyn Hall

In our Western world, owning a dog is widely accepted as normal and with the rise of dogs being rehomed from rescue centres could even be seen as honourable. In fact, we are so comfortable with dogs being not just part of our lives but also part of our families that it seems strange to think that just over 2600 miles away in Iran, owning a dog is set to become punishable by 74 lashes.

Yet recently members of the parliament in Iran put forward new legislation that aims to make buying, selling, walking or owning a dog a crime. If this bill passes, when people who continue to own a dog are caught – either outside or inside of their homes – they will be punished with a fine of over £2000 or receive 74 lashes and the dog will be confiscated.



While this is not a new development; owning a dog has long been frowned upon in Iranian and Islamic cultures, with many saying that it is an imitation of vulgar life in the West, many animal supporters are now rejecting what they feel is an attempt to supress freedom.

However, lawmakers have been attempting to ban ownership for some time now and have so far made it illegal to travel with a dog – arresting anyone found with a dog in their vehicle. In addition, all media adverts about dogs or dog products have been banned since 2010.

Despite this, the new law has yet to pass its final approval and if it goes ahead will only apply to those living in urban areas as the police, farmers and fishermen will all be exempted.

Credit: Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters / Corbis

Credit: Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters / Corbis



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