Guide dog
Guide dogFlash 90

If you have a pet dog, it might be best not to go to Iran.

New legislation proposed by local parliamentarian would impose severe penalties on dog owners for walking their pets in public, the BBC reports.

32 MPs have submitted a bill to parliament which proposes a punishment of 74 lashes for people caught playing with, stroking or exercising their dogs outdoors, according to the report, which cited the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

The bill says such activities "harm the Islamic culture and the safety and peace of mind of other people, especially women and children".

Anyone who ignores police warnings could also be fined up to 100 million rials ($3,740) under the plans, as well as having their animal taken away.

According to the BBC, the MPs say confiscated pets should be moved to "a zoo, forest or desert", and that owners would have to foot the bill for the transfer. Some notable exceptions are mentioned in the bill, including for farmers, shepherds and licensed hunters.

Over the past few years Iranian police have been cracking down on dog walking, and some owners have been arrested, because under Iran's Islamic laws the animals are considered "unclean". However, dog ownership is a growing trend in the country, particularly among the urban middle and upper classes in major cities like Tehran.

Muslims have also shown their antagonism towards dogs in Western countries. In 2012, police in Toronto, Canada, arrested a Jew after he shoved back a Muslim who had punched him for not moving his “unclean” dog further away from Muslim women during an anti-Israel rally.

In another incident, a blind man in Saskatoon, Canada, reported that Muslim taxi drivers were refusing to give rides to blind people with seeing-eye dogs citing religious grounds.

Several months ago, a sign was posted on an east London park, telling pet owners to stay out the park because "Muslims do not like dogs".