IRANIAN authorities have issued a ban on walking dogs in public, saying that they represent a “cultural problem” as they claim that owners were “blindly” imitating Western culture.
For decades, pet dogs were rare and thus tolerated in Iran, where the Islamic beliefs cherished by the vast majority of traditional Iranians consider dogs as ‘najis,’ or unclean.
But in recent years the soaring number of pet dogs - owned by the middle class scattered across Iran - has alarmed authorities, who have now criminalised taking dogs out for walks in public, or driving them around the city.
“We will confront those who walk their dogs in the streets. Cars carrying dogs will also be impounded,” deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan told local news agencies.
The police warning is reported to have initiated the desired effect, forcing some to walk their dogs in secluded areas and ask for home calls by vets.