Outraged Iranian pet owners kick back against new proposal to ban all pets

The legislation would prevent “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” – but it does not strictly cover animals typically considered to be a threat.

Animals listed in the ban include turtles, snakes and lizards, as well as common pets including rabbits and dogs.

“How many times have cats sought to devour you so that you consider them wild, harmful and dangerous?” journalist Yeganeh Khodami joked on Twitter.

Another user posted a photograph of his kitten alongside the caption: “I have renamed my cat ‘Criminal’ since I heard this proposed law.”

“Solving the country’s problems is tied to [killing] people’s cats and dogs?” Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, a reformist politician, tweeted.

Offenders could face fines of up to £2,900 and confiscation of the animal, as well as any vehicle used to transport it.

Landlords who allow their tenants to keep pets would be hit with the same penalty and law enforcement would be obliged to investigate any accused of violations.

Conservative lawmaker Naser Mousavi Largani told local media that animals have caused “panic for children and families” in residential areas.

Mr Largani said keeping pets “also brings about several infections and diseases common between humans and animals”.

Iran’s Society of Veterinarians warned that the bill could result in “uncontrollable social repercussions”.

“The bill’s text as it is written is anti-animalist and far from the customary and religious laws common between humans and other creatures of God Almighty,” a statement from the society said.

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