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 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."
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.
Dog killing and eating carries on in Nagaland unabated. This is illegal according to the laws of India and it cannot be allowed under the guise of culture. It is time to stop it. All the dogs are now being brought in from outside the state as Nagaland has eaten all its own dogs. They come from as far away as West Bengal and Assam. Trucks full of dogs are being taken to Nagaland at night, crossing the border illegally. The dogs mouths are tied with rope so that they cannot bark. Many die of suffocation on the way. Many of you can be bearers of change if you simply write an email. I am not going to give you a prepared letter because I want you to make your own. This is a picture of the animal bazar in Dimapur taken on the 26th of June. I want you to protest in a civilized manner to the Chief Secretary of Nagaland Mr Temjan Toy and ask for the police to stop the dog bazars and the dog restaurants in Nagaland. The police should stop the dogs from coming in and the smugglers must be caught. This practice must stop. This is his email : firstname.lastname@example.org I want *50,000* emails to go to him in *three days*. So for the next three days make sure you and all your friends write to him. *We can change the world together* Maneka Sanjay Gandhi @manekagandhibjp #save #stop
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.
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."
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."
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."