Animal Cruelty Bill Submitted to Parliament

Animal Cruelty Bill Submitted to ParliamentAnimal Cruelty Bill Submitted to Parliament

A bill to protect animals from abuse has been submitted to the parliament after the government approved it, according to Iran's top environment official.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of the Department of Environment, said the bill was prepared by her office "in conjunction with experts", including jurists and animal rights activists, ILNA reported.

The bill has been a long time coming, as the lack of preventive laws has allowed animal abusers to get away in the past.

The popularity of social media among Iranians has provided them with a multitude of platforms to share gruesome images and videos of animals being tortured in a variety of ways, prompting widespread calls in recent years by activists for more stringent measures and criminalizing animal cruelty.

According to articles 679 and 680 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code–Book Five, abusing and killing halal-meat animals (animals whose meat is allowed to be consumed) and animals protected from hunting is illegal and punishable by imprisonment and a fine of 18 million rials ($520).

However, these laws do not protect other animals, such as cats and dogs, from cruel individuals, and that needs to change, which is what the DOE hopes to achieve with the bill.

Nevertheless, the legal gap did not deter judges from stepping up their game and using existing laws to prosecute animal torturers.

Judges with a firm grasp of the law use Article 638 of Islamic Penal Code, which states committing sinful acts in public is a crime, to bring people who abuse animals to justice—much to the satisfaction of activists and the general public.


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