Jul 18, 2011

How Iranians get their puppies

The Iranian government always has good ideas. For example, in April, it passed a bill to criminalize dog ownership, declaring the phenomenon a sign of "vulgar Western values." (Dogs are considered "haram," or unclean, in Islam). But people want their puppies, so guess what happens next.
Dog-selling websites like Rashtpet and Petpars confirm they import dogs by paying travelling Iranians to act as illicit couriers and claim the puppies are their own. While importing dogs for sale is illegal, passengers are allowed to bring personal pets in on commercial flights. The flight from Ukraine to Tehran has been nicknamed "the puppy flight" because many of its passengers, mostly university students, are carrying puppies for sale. When airport authorities caught on last year, they increased the tax on importing pets from $50 to $800, according to sellers. Some dog vendors diverted their operation so dogs are transported from Ukraine to Armenia and Turkey and from there smuggled in the cargo section of tour buses and trucks returning to Iran. "We have a large and very capable network expanding from Iran to Europe and beyond to help unite Iranians with dogs," says the 30-year-old owner of Petpars…
Source: Wall Street Journal. Ht: Tyler Cowen

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