Dog lovers face 74 lashes under new Iran law
Dog lovers in Iran could face up to 74 lashes under plans by lawmakers to ban keeping the canines at home or walking them in public.
If the new bill is passed by parliament, those guilty of dog-related offences could also face fines ranging from 10 million rials (S$480) to 100 million rials.
Dogs are regarded as unclean under Islamic custom and they are not common in Iran.
Patting dogs or coming into contact with their saliva is seen as “najis” - direct contact and behaviour that leaves the body unclean.
But some families keep canines behind closed doors and, especially in more affluent areas, walk them outside.
'Damage Islamic culture'
Iran’s morality police have previously stopped dog walkers and either cautioned them or confiscated the animals.
The draft law states: "Anyone who walks or plays with animals such as dogs or monkeys in public places will damage Islamic culture, as well as the hygiene and peace of others, especially women and children."
Confiscated animals would be sent to zoos, forests or the wilderness, it said.
But the law will exempt police, farmers and hunters from the penalties, which are mostly aimed at dog owners living in apartment buildings in big cities such as Tehran, reported Shargh newspaper on Thursday.
A similar law was proposed three years ago, but lawmakers in the 290-member parliament dismissed it, citing more important legislation on the draft agenda.