After Mizoram, Nagaland Cabinet bans sale of dog meat
The Nagaland government on Friday banned the sale of dog meat in the state along with the commercial import and trading of dogs. The decision comes after a recent online campaign from animal rights groups including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation (FIAPO). Earlier in March, the Mizoram government had also taken a similar step.
Nagaland Chief Secretary announced decision on Twitter
Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy tweeted on Friday, "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."
Rights groups appealed to government to impose ban
On June 30, Parliamentarian and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi had made an appeal against the "unabated" killing of dogs in Nagaland through 'People For Animals'—an animal welfare organization she founded. An image of dogs tied up in gunny sacks, purportedly taken in Dimapur on June 26, was also attached. Thereafter, on June 2, FIAPO had also urged the state to impose a ban.
You can view PFA's post here
Around 30,000 dogs sold a year in Nagaland
According to Humane Society International (HSI) estimates, around 30,000 dogs are sold in a year across live markets in Nagaland where they are "beaten to death with wooden clubs." In some sections of Nagaland, dog meat is considered a delicacy. Reportedly, stray dogs from neighboring states are caught and smuggled into the state to be sold as meat in Dimapur, the state's commercial hub.
Activists hailed decision to ban dog meat
After the ban, HSI India's Managing Director Alokparna Sengupta said, "The suffering of dogs in Nagaland has long cast a dark shadow over India, and so this news marks a major turning point in ending the cruelty of India's hidden dog meat trade." Sengupta also thanked Gandhi for her support. Abu Metha—advisor to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio—tweeted, "This is a progressive move."
Government also facing criticism over ban
On the other hand, the ban has also faced criticism. Popular musician Alobo Naga told Hindustan Times, "I am a dog lover and don't consume dog meat. But the consumption of dog meat has been part of our culture." Naga said, "Instead of taking a hurried decision based on a campaign, mostly from outside the state, the government could have talked to stakeholders first."
'No idea how the government will implement ban'
Theja Therieh, secretary of Naga Tribes Council, also said, "[The ban] will have an impact on food habit as dog meat is consumed by common people. I have no idea how the government will restrict food habits and implement the ban."