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Challenge to Islamic laws that save wild boar's bacon

The Guardian
September 6, 1999

Iranian officials are asking senior clerics for permission to hunt wild boar and export its meat, even though the animals are considered haram, or impure, by Muslims.

Hunting, eating and trading the meat are forbidden under Islamic law, but officials are concerned that the boar are destroying crops and contaminating livestock.

The newspaper Abrar-e Eqtesad yesterday quoted the governor of the city of Abadan in the country's south-west as saying that the advice of a number of senior clerics had been sought.

"Last year a large number of these animals entered our land and contaminated livestock in this region," he said. "We have asked senior clerics to see if it is pure to hunt and export their meat."

He said that up to a million boar were roaming the date palm groves around Abadan.

The agriculture minister, Issa Kalantari, was quoted as saying that wild boar were the "number one enemy" of the trees in the area.

He added that the country's late spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had allowed the hunting of wild boar and the sale of its meat to religious minorities on condition that the money raised was used to pay for the cost of the bullets used to kill the animals. Reuters


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