GUWAHATI: Even though dog meat is a delicacy in Nagaland and considered a cure for pain-related ailments, The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) has urged the state government to immediately ban its slaughter and enforce the stringent animal welfare laws.
“We are writing with deep concern, shock and horror at recent images that have emerged from ‘animal bazaar’ markets in Dimapur 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 legal manager Varnika Singh wrote to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio in a letter.
Dogs are regularly smuggled from Assam and West Bengal into Nagaland.
In Assam, the dog catchers, who work for smugglers, get about Rs 50 for a single dog and the same dog when sold at a wholesale market in the state costs approximately Rs 1,000.
In the streets of Nagaland, dog meat sells for Rs 200 per kg which is roughly Rs 2,000 per dog or 40-50 times increase from the catchers’ ‘price’, the FIAPO wrote.
The animal protection organisation said the trade of dog meat in Nagaland was utterly illegal and in complete violation of various laws such as the Indian Penal Code 1860.
It also said that Section 429 of the IPC makes the killing of animals a punishable offence with up to five years of imprisonment.
“The trade of dog meat involves packaging dogs in gunny bags with their mouths either tied with a string or sewn shut which is a complete violation of this Act. The consumption of dog meat is a violation of the laws and hence, illegal. This calls for an immediate and stringent implementation of the laws. In a rapidly-developing country like ours, it is imperative that we accord equal rights to animals,” the FIAPO letter read.
It added that capturing and transporting dogs and preparing and consuming their meat put individuals directly at the risk of contracting rabies as the disease can spread not only through dog bites but also by handling and consuming infected meat.
“In Vietnam, 30% of human deaths due to rabies were linked to exposure to the virus during slaughter of the dogs. In addition to this, dogs are notoriously traded in wet markets, where they are slaughtered on demand in front of the customers, exponentially increasing health and epidemiological risks of infections as we are already witnessing with the global rise of Covid-19 pandemic,” it said.