Nagaland bans sale, consumption of dog meat; organisations hail decision

Topics Dogs | Nagaland | China

The decision by the state government is being seen as historic by animal protection groups.
The Nagaland government on Friday banned the sale and consumption of dog meat, in a significant decision amid concerns over cruelty to animals.

The decision to ban commercial import and trading of dogs, and sale of dog meat, both cooked and raw, was taken during a state cabinet meeting, said state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Neiba Kronu.

Considering the dangers of importing dogs from other states for consumption and also in line with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the state cabinet took the decision, Kronu, who is the spokesperson of the government, said.

The government also decided to ban commercial import and trading of pigs with immediate effect, he said.

The state already banned the import of pigs following the outbreak of swine fever in the region and the cabinet gave approval to it in the meeting, he said.

"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," Chief Secretary Temjen Toy said in a tweet.

The decision by the state government is being seen as historic by animal protection groups.

The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FOIAPO), the collective of animal protection groups in the country, urged Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday to take steps regarding the matter.

In its letter, the federation said as the controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China concluded on June 20 amid widespread global condemnation, "here at home we continue to exploit dogs for meat".

While animal lovers and organisations have hailed the prohibition, others have termed it as an 'uncalled decision' that has hurt emotions of many. Gauri Mulekhi, Trustee of People For Animals told ANI: "We saw in Nagaland that thousands of dogs are being slaughtered every day, not only in Nagaland but also in Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. It is totally illegal as per the food safety and standards act and the prevention of cruelty to animals act. We are very grateful to the Chief Minister of Nagaland for taking a cabinet decision to strictly enforce the provisions of banning dog meat and to Maneka Gandhi for taking a lead role in this matter."

"This was the habit that had to be discontinued because as we evolve we need to be more kind and considerate toward animals. Every animal lover is grateful for this ban," added Mulekhi.

Kanika Dewan, Director, (Partnerships and Strategy) People for Animals while thanking the government said: "Meat consumption is allowed in India, however, dog meat is one category that is not allowed for consumption. Most of the states have already banned this particular consumption. We are thankful that Nagaland has come forth and took this wonderful step. It is going to be a challenge for sometime, but we will overcome this."

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