Owning a cat or a dog could become illegal in Iran as the government is floating legislation to ban most household pets.
First drafted on November 17, the bill relates to the ‘protection of public rights against dangerous and harmful animals’ and reportedly aims to protect the country from the influence of ‘unclean’ animals.
The proposed law describes people living in Iran with animals as a ‘destructive social problem’, and would ban citizens from owning, breeding and transporting animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and other common pets if passed.
The ban would also extend to less common and more ‘wild’ animals such as snakes, lizards, crocodiles, mice, monkeys, donkeys and turtles.
A total of 75 MPs, or one-quarter of parliamentarians, are thought to have signed the text which also claims that animals could ‘gradually change the Iranian and Islamic way of life’ by ‘replacing human and family relationships with feelings and emotional relationships towards animals’, France24 reports.
The proposition has been met with backlash by animal lovers in Iran, with 25-year-old Mostafa, who runs a pet supplies shop, arguing his cat ‘is not dangerous’.
He added: ‘Crocodiles can be called dangerous, but how can rabbits, dogs and cats be dangerous?’
Violators of the law could risk being hit with a penalty equal to 10 to 30 times the ‘minimum monthly working wage’ of about $98, as well as the ‘confiscation’ of the animal. Landlords who fail to enforce laws regarding pet ownership could also face penalties.
The proposed legislation is thought to have come about in part due to instances of people being attacked by stray dogs.
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