People, Environment

Man Imprisoned for 2 Months Over Animal Abuse

Man Imprisoned for 2 Months Over Animal AbuseMan Imprisoned for 2 Months Over Animal Abuse

A taxi-driver in Some’eh Sara, Gilan Province, who had tethered a dog to the back of his car and dragged it across the streets, was arrested and sentenced to two months in prison for animal abuse.

A video of the unnamed man pulling the animal by his car had been circulating online for a while before it was reported to the provincial Department of Environment office by the police and Bandar Anzali Animal Rights Group. An arrest was made shortly after, Khabaronline reported.

“The court sentenced the man to two months in prison on the grounds that the inhumane act was a clear example of animal abuse and a crime,” said Hamzeh Ashouri, the head of Some’eh Sara’s DOE.

Ashouri added that all forms of animal cruelty is condemned by Islam and unacceptable to the public opinion.

“Fortunately, the public today responds to such behaviors immediately, thanks to easy access to social media,” he said.

This is but one example of widespread cruelty against animals in Iran. The prevalence of such behavior is thought to have two main drivers: a legal vacuum and lack of acculturation.

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 hunting protected animals is illegal and punishable by jail time and a fine of 18 million rials ($520).

However, the existing laws do not protect other animals, such as cats and dogs, from cruel individuals and that needs to change.

Nevertheless, the legal gap has not deterred judges from stepping up their game and using existing laws to prosecute animal torturers. Iranian judges have started to sentence animal abusers more frequently by drawing on Article 638 of Islamic Penal Code, which states committing sinful acts in public is a crime.

In November, a bill to protect animals from abuse was prepared by the DOE and submitted to the Majlis after the government approved it, but it has not yet become law.

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