Iran has sparked widespread mockery and outrage after lawmakers proposed to ban pets because animals living with humans is apparently a “destructive social problem”.
Ultraconservative lawmakers representing about 25 percent of Iran’s parliamentarians – or 75 MPs – have signed a bill that apparently proposes to ban pets, according to Emirati media outlet The National.
The text is reportedly called ‘Support for the rights of the population in relation to harmful and dangerous animals’ and ultra conservatives are said to be keen to ban pets because they consider the practice of keeping them decadent, as animals under Islamic law, such as dogs and pigs, are deemed unclean.
The authors of the bill reportedly condemn the notion that humans can live under a single roof along with domesticated animals, labelling it a “destructive social problem”.
They explained that the “problem” could “gradually change the Iranian and Islamic way of life” and would replace “human and family relationships with feelings and emotional relationships towards animals”.
This is why the law proposes to ban “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”.
The unworthy animals that should apparently be banned are listed as “crocodiles, turtles, snakes, lizards, cats, mice, rabbits, dogs and other unclean animals as well as monkeys”.
Under the proposed bill, offenders would face fines ranging from 10 to 30 times the minimum monthly wage as well as the confiscation of the animal.
Netizens widely reacted with mockery and scorn, with journalist Yeganeh Khodami reportedly saying on Twitter: “How many times have cats sought to devour you so that you consider them wild, harmful and dangerous?”
In light of the backlash, The National reports that few parliamentarians are actually willing to defend the proposed law.
The head of the Iranian parliament’s judicial commission, Moussa Ghazanfarabadi, who signed the text, said: “I agree with the project in general, but I certainly disagree with some of its clauses.”
He added: “It is just a bill, but whether it succeeds is another matter.”
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