People, Environment

Animal Abusers Face Prosecution

Animal Abusers Face ProsecutionAnimal Abusers Face Prosecution

An environment official in Isfahan Province said those involved in the recent torture and murder of an endangered monitor lizard will be tracked down and prosecuted.

A video depicting a monitor lizard in Aran-va-Bidgol—a town with an ecologically-rich protected area in Isfahan Province—being physically abused and killed has been circulating online for a few days.

Speaking to ISNA, Allahyar Dolatkhah, the head of the Department of Environment office in Aran-va-Bidgol, said the sharing of material via media depicting animal cruelty promotes violence and may have a negative impact on the society, therefore it is a crime and the criminals will be punished.

"The species is battling extinction and any activity that would hamper its chances of survival is illegal," he said.

The desert monitor is a species of monitor lizards with three subspecies: Grey, Caspian and Indian. The former two are found in Iran, of which the Caspian monitor is the largest lizard species in the country.

Despite their less-than-friendly appearance, monitor lizards pose no threat to humans and feed mostly on mice, eggs and fish. If need be, they may also prey on smaller mammals, reptiles and birds.

According to Islamic law, abusing and killing animals are considered a crime and must be dealt with by the judicial authorities. Offenders in Iran generally take to social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to share footage of animals being abused.

Globally, the species is also under threat as a result of habitat loss brought about by urban development and expansion of agriculture. In some parts of the world, the animal's numbers have plummeted to near-extinction levels.


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