The Tehran government considers pet ownership too “Western” and worried Iranians are expressing their distress on social networks.
#pasdecruautéenversles Animaux, #nonauxmeurtresdechien… On social networks, hashtags calling for the protection of animals in Iran are multiplying. For a decade, the Islamic regime in Tehran has been trying to introduce new legislation to ban pet ownership. Soon, Parliament expects to approve a bill that would significantly restrict the rights of the public and property owners. An ambition driven by the desire tode-Westernize” the country.
The bill is based on two major axes: the possession of a permit issued by a special committee to be able to accommodate a pet and the distribution of fines, of at least 790 euros, for “import, purchase and sale, transport and safekeepingof certain animals (among them cats, turtles or rabbits).
Severe bans already in place
This isn’t the first time authorities have cracked down on pet ownership. They have already banned citizens from walking their dogs in parks, now considering this gesture a crime, arguing with questions “public safety», Pointing to the danger posed by canids. In the eyes of extremist leaders and some members of parliament, going for a walk with your dog on a leash by your side is not a gesture “Islamic», decodes Elsayed Mohammed, regional director in the Middle East and North Africa of IFAW, an animal protection NGO.
A shortcut that he considers erroneous and unprecedented: “It has never happened in the history of Islam that the possession of dogs is forbidden“. Through the centuries, they have always been present, used for guarding and hunting in the Middle East, he says. The decision is therefore much morepolitical than cultural or religious“.
In recent years, the Iranian government has gone even further in its action “anti dog“. Several media, such as the BBC or theIndependent Persian, denounced the execution of hundreds of animals across the country. One of the most striking is that which occurred on Monday July 25, in a refuge in Damavand (North). BBC Persian reported on Twitter that nearly 1,600 ownerless dogs were killed by city officials. The head of the environment department denied this, stating that only “50 sick dogs belonging to the landfill centerwere shot. Images of dead animals leaked on social media and, in protest, animal rights activists gathered outside the home of the county governor of Damavand.
A good tool to “penalize” Iranians
Iranians are now worried about the future of their animals. Many of them have posted photos of their companions on the networks, wanting to denounce the ridiculousness of finding them “dangerous“. Another user tweeted a photo of two cats, along with the caption, “Animals in the street are very solitary, much more endangered than in the wild, where they simply fight to survive with other animals. But in town, they’re dealing with the world’s most dangerous and savage parasite.pointing to the Islamic regime.
“The situation is worrying, many people and animals will sufferregrets Elsayed Mohammed. It will be a good tool to annoy people when needed“. And for Jean-Pierre Digard, emeritus research director at the CNRS, this is one of the objectives behind these measures, to say the least extreme. “Since the election of the new president, there has been a hardening of the regime“, he analyzes. The authorities wantmarginalize, penalize, members of society who are oriented towards the West and who show more resistance towards them“.
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