PARIS - A mayor in eastern France has refused to sign a license for two dogs named "Itler" and "Iva" who he claims are owned by an official from France's far-right National Front.
"I don't want to sign this licence ... of course 'Itler' and 'Iva' make you think of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, a dubious play on words," said Luc Binsinger, the mayor of the small town of Saint-Nicolas-de-Port.
"I have written to the local prefect to ask him what I can do. In the meantime, I'm not signing," he told AFP, adding he believed the owner of the two American Staffordshire Terriers was a local National Front official.
"It's completely mad. Stupid even," added Binsinger.
The owner had already secured an initial license -- required in France for dangerous dogs -- but the names had apparently not raised eyebrows at the time.
"It's not a question of how dangerous the dogs are, it's a question of principle," said Binsinger.
Neither the local prefect nor the owner could be immediately reached for comment.
There is in theory no restrictions on naming animals in France ... with one exception -- you cannot call a pig Napoleon, due to a law aimed at preserving the image of the Emperor which is still on the statute books.