The Nagaland government has decided to ban commercial import and the sale of dog and dog meat. The Mizoram government had taken a similar decision in March.
“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,” Nagaland’s Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said on July 3.
He added that the decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
The announcement followed an appeal by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), an apex body of animal rights groups, to the Nagaland government to ban the sale, smuggling and consumption of dog meat besides enforcing stringent animal welfare laws.
“We are once again hit by shock and horror at recent images that have emerged from ‘animal markets’ in Dimapur (Nagaland’s commercial hub) where dogs are seen in terrified conditions, tied up in sacks, waiting at a wet market for their illegal slaughter, trade and consumption as meat,” FIAPO executive director Varda Mehrotra said in a statement on July 2.
The FIAPO said it has been engaging with the Nagaland government since 2016, underlining how dogs suffer because of the demand for meat. It also claimed to have carried out undercover investigations on dog meat in the northeast.
The organisation said dogs are smuggled regularly to Nagaland from Assam and West Bengal. A dog, caught in Assam for ₹50, is sold for ₹1,000 in Nagaland’s wholesale market.
“Dog meat sells for ₹200 per kg on the streets of Nagaland, which is about ₹2,000 per dog,” it said.
Nagaland and Mizoram-bound vehicles carrying dogs tied in gunny bags with their heads sticking out are frequently caught in Assam. But many such vehicles slip through the security cordons.