Under a new law, framed by the hardline lawmarkers in Iran, the dog owners in the country face public whipping (74 lashes) for keeping the 'unclean' animal.
As per the Islamic 'dictates', dogs are considers 'Haram' or a rather unclean animal that is treated with the same level of disgust as a 'swine.'
According to an AFP report (via Hurriyat Daily News), 32 members of Iran's conservative-dominated parliament have signed a draft bill that authorise public lashing and heavy fines for offenders.
Despite the forced restrictions, families in Iran are known to keep dogs as pet, but usually keep them well hidden behind closed doors. However, in affluent areas, there have been cases of the local religious police clashing with dog-walkers. The new draft bill will give them power to impose heavy fines, including whipping the guilty in public.
As per the new law that is yet to pass its final approval, the fines for keeping dogs would range between 10 million rials to 100 million rials ($370 to $3,700 approx).
Under the strict Islamic customs, patting dogs or coming into contact with their saliva is seen as "najis," - an unclean act. "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," the draft law states.
Confiscated animals would be sent to zoos, forests or the wilderness, it said.
The religious hardliners in Iran of late have raised several concerns of the increasing 'invasion' of Western culture through televisions and Internet. The act of owning a dog also has been a topic of debate among the fundamentalists groups.
The draft law, however only applies to the dog owners living in cities as police, farmers and hunters have been exempted from the penalties.