People, Environment

Crackdown on Dog Fighting in Zanjan

Crackdown on Dog Fighting in ZanjanCrackdown on Dog Fighting in Zanjan

Zanjan prosecutor Hojjatoleslam Hassan Mozafari issued a ban Tuesday on dog fighting in the province, following the publication of photos of the horrid pastime in several counties on news websites and social networks, which provoked strong reaction from the general public and animal rights activists.

The cleric announced the decision in a letter to General Alireza Salehi, commander of Zanjan’s Law Enforcement Force, based on which police officers are obliged to detain the organizers of the event, Mehr News Agency reported.

Calling dog fighting “animal abuse and immoral”, the ruling, a rare move to protect animals in Iran, tasks the LEF with investigating the matter and identifying the culprits.

Based on the directive, first-time offenders will receive a warning, while repeat offenders will be prosecuted in a court of law, the news agency reported.

According to Islamic law, abusing and killing animals is considered a crime and have to be dealt with by the judicial authorities.

Dog fighting is a type of blood sport generally defined as opposing two game dogs against one another in a ring or a pit for the entertainment of spectators. In many instances, people bet on the animals, and more often than not, the losing dog is put down.

Due to lackluster laws, animal rights are generally ignored in Iran, which is one reason behind the country’s poor ranking in the latest Environmental Performance Index, published on Saturday.

Last year, a video showing stray dogs in Shiraz being injected with a substance presumed to be acid sparked outrage, prompting activists and celebrities to protest against animal cruelty.