AIZWAL: Following a four-month-long court battle between animal protection charity Humane Society International/India and India's dog meat association, the District Magistrate Court of Aizawl in Mizoram has awarded HSI/India permanent custody of 24 dogs who the campaigners rescued from two trucks headed for slaughter.
HSI/India rescued 36 terrified dogs on June 8 this year when they were found tightly bound in sacks and their muzzles bound shut with rope, hardly able to move or breathe.
Soon after the rescue, many of the dogs were diagnosed with deadly rabies and distemper to which 12 succumbed. Through vaccination and quarantine, 24 dogs survived.
Arkaprava Bhar, HSI/India's regional manager-east, said: "It has been an overwhelming experience to watch these dogs transition from traumatized, meek animals fearing for their life to bright and confident animals who are excited about their daily walks and food.
This is a landmark judgment by the court in Aizawl, a first of its kind to give victims of the dog meat trade the sanctuary and relief they need.
We now look forward to seeing these lovely dogs bring joy to a new family soon once adopted.
HSI is one of the foremost organizations in the world working to put an end to the cruel dog meat trade that kills an estimated 30 million dogs every year across Asia.
The charity works on the ground in Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia, and China in addition to India, and combines hands-on the rescue with awareness raising to educate the public about the cruelty and misery these dogs endure in the dog meat trade and to enact government policies to end the trade.
Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organisations.
For more than 25 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education, and hands-on programmes.