Saudi Vice Squads go after pet cats and dogs

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Dubai, Jul 31 (UNI) Now the Vice Squads in Saudi Arabia enforcing morality codes, are implementing a new ban on pet dogs and cats.

The Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice also would clamp down on those escorting cats and dogs in public places, a local newspaper reported.

Prince Sattam, acting governor of Riyadh province, issued a decision prohibiting the sale and escorting of cats and dogs in Riyadh in line with a fatwa issued by the Council of Senior Scholars. The Makkah governorate in August 2006, acting on a request from the commission, had prohibited the sale of pet cats and dogs.

''The ban was based on the Prophet's saying that it is forbidden to give or accept any money related to the selling or buying of dogs,'' head of the commission in Makkah province Ahmed Al-Ghamdi said.

It is also prohibited to keep a dog inside home. A dog can be owned for purposes of hunting, police duties, guarding houses and property, and by farmers for herding cattle and sheep, he added.

The Arab News, a Saudi English daily, in a hardhitting article slammed the ban saying the morality police is unnecessarily getting entangled in quixotic campaigns.

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