Relentless animal activism and internet furor over a leaked image has nudged Nagaland to announced a ban on the illegal trade of dog and dog meat, multiple media reports.
“The State Government has decided to ban commercial import and trading of dogs and dog markets and also the sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked. Appreciate the wise decision taken by the State’s Cabinet,” Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy tweeted on Friday.
According to New Indian Express, the decision from Nagaland came hours after animal rights activist group Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) wrote to the state government urging for an immediate ban on the illegal trade of dogs and its meat.
“We are writing with deep concern, shock and horror at recent images that have emerged from ‘animal bazaar’ markets in Dimapur where dogs are seen in terrifying conditions, tied up in sacks, waiting at a wet market, for their illegal slaughter, trade, and consumption as meat,” FIAPO wrote in a letter.
A very disturbing image of dogs tied in sacks with their legs tightly held together surfaced online from Nagaland’s Dimapur, which went viral.
In the image, the smuggled dogs can be seen captured in sacks with their heads popping out and whole body inside, waiting to be sent to the wet market where they’ll be slaughtered.
It sparked a furor on the internet with people calling for an immediate ban on the sale of both cooked and uncooked dog meat in the state.
Dog meat is considered a delicacy in Nagaland. People identify canine meat as a traditional pain reliever. Media reports suggest most of the dogs smuggled in Nagaland come from West Bengal and Assam, where smugglers are paid up to Rs. 50 per dog, which will be re-sold at Rs. 200/ kg after slaughter.
The ban not only stops the inhuman selling of dog meat but also prevents cooking and serving it in restaurants. Animal rights activist group Humane Society International (HSI) applauded the decision calling it “a major turning point in ending the cruelty in India’s hidden dog meat trade.”
HSI is among the other animal rights activist groups, including PETA and FIAPO, which have over the years pursued the government to bring an end to the illegal trade and consumption.
North-Eastern states in India, including Nagaland, are known for their appetite for dog meat, including the states of Mizoram, Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh the Guardian reports.
Humane Society International estimates as much as 30,000 dogs are smuggled in Nagaland each year, which are then sold in wet markets. Animals’ rights groups say the dogs are horribly treated and are often beaten to death with wooden clubs.
The official circular from the government declares anybody found violating the ban shall be liable to punishment under U/S 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.
What do you think about the ban? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.