by Madeeha Khan

In the year 2020, we’ve seen people eat bats in China that lead to this novel COVID-19 pandemic and now, people in Nagaland want to import dogs from far West Bengal and Assam to complete their meal. They have eaten all the dogs in their state and hence have to smuggle dogs from various places.

Dog meat is illegal according to the laws of India, therefore trucks full of dogs are been taken to Nagaland at night, crossing the borders illegally. On 1st July 2020, People for animals shared a post on Instagram and Twitter stating this issue and it specifically mentioned ‘unabated killing’. They sent 50,000 emails to the Chief Secretary of Nagaland, Mr Temjen Toy, protesting towards this cruelty. They even tagged Maneka Sanjay Gandhi to bring this issue to her notice.

On Friday, 3rd July, the Nagaland cabinet banned the sale and consumption of dog meat which have been protested by animal rights activists over the years. Temjen Toy tweeted that they’ve decided to ban the commercial imports and trading of dogs, dog markets and their sale, both cooked and uncooked, he tagged the Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio and Animal rights activist and a member of the parliament Menaka Gandhi.

Dog meat is considered as a delicacy in some communities of Nagaland and some parts in Northeast. It has been traditionally consumed in parts of the states for decades. Certain communities also consider that they have medicinal properties in them. However, considering the dangers of importing dogs from other states for consumption and also in line with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It violates Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), that makes the killing of animals an offence punishable with up to five years of imprisonment. Only Ovines, Bovines, Suillines and Caprines can be consumed as meat, while consumption of any other animal, including dogs, is strictly prohibited, according to the Food Product Standards and Food Additives Regulation 2011 and Meat Food Products Order 1973.

The absurd picture of dogs packed in gunny bags and their mouth tied with ropes in one of the Nagaland Dimapur’s wet markets. On Thursday, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization (FIAPO) filed a fresh plea to ban dog meat, to the state government. The FIAPO has been conducting undercover investigations on this issue since 2016 and said that in Assam, a dog catcher gets Rs.50 per dog while it is sold at Rs. 1000 at the wholesale market in Nagaland. Dog meat is sold at Rs.200 per kg, which is almost Rs. 2000 for a dog, 40-50 times more than the catcher’s price.

Image Credits:- People For Animals

On an average, more than 30,000 dogs are smuggled in Nagaland every year, where they are sold in live markets and beaten to death with wooden clubs, according to the Humane Society International (HIS). Alokparna Sengupta, the managing director of HSI said, “The suffering of dogs in Nagaland has long cast a shadow over India, and so this news marks as a major turning point in ending the cruelty of India’s hidden dog meat trade.”

However, dog meat is eaten in many countries like China, South Korea and Thailand but it is forbidden in India and hence shouldn’t be consumed. In March, Mizoram took the first step to strike the slaughtering of dogs from their list.

Image Credits:- Help Animals India

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