Dogs & Laws

Iran Proposes Nationwide Ban on ‘Harmful, Dangerous’ Pets—Including Dogs and Cats

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Government officials in Iran are proposing a nationwide ban on what they’re calling “harmful and dangerous animals.” Among the animals deemed harmful: dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits, and lizards, and several exotic species.


Pet parenthood may soon become a thing of the past for people living across the entire country of Iran. The Iranian Parliament is considering legislation that would ban most household pets. The ban was proposed with the purpose of protecting the country from the dangerous influence of “unclean” animals.

The law, called Protection of the Public’s Rights Against Animals, was proposed in November. It calls people living with animals a “destructive social problem” and effectively bans “importing, raising, assisting in the breeding of, breeding, buying or selling, transporting, driving or walking, and keeping in the home wild, exotic, harmful and dangerous animals.”

However, among the animals they’re calling wild, exotic, harmful, and dangerous are popular family pets including dogs, cats, turtles, and rabbits. Also included in the proposed ban are crocodiles, donkeys, snakes, lizards, mice, monkeys, and “other unclean animals.”

If passed, the law would impose fines equivalent to between 10- and 30-times the minimum monthly working wage amount, seizure of the animal, and, if the animal was transported, seizure of the vehicle for three months.

Exceptions would be made for certain people or businesses that require dogs for security or herding. And, universities and laboratories would still be permitted to acquire and keep dogs and other banned animals for use in research and drug testing.

Under Islamic law, dogs, and many other animals, are considered impure and unhygienic and many Muslim countries have dog ownership bans already in place. However, despite the controversy surrounding them, dogs have become popular pets for Iranians in recent years.

While dogs have always been a source of controversy in the country, cats, on the other hand, have traditionally been welcomed. Cats have historically been the most popular pet for Iranians when cats gained favor because Prophet Mohammed was said to enjoy them, even outlawing the killing or persecuting cats. Worldwide, an outright ban on all cats is essentially unheard of.

The proposed legislation does not address what would become of existing pets if the ban were to pass. But, previous examples of abuse and torture of stray and abandoned animals in Iran prompted outcry from pet owners and animal advocates across the country.

It is unknown when the proposed bill will be considered by lawmakers.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Of Damian Hall

    Damian Hall


    This is insane

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