The Nagaland government is in the process of banning the use of dog meat as food in the state and directives have been issued to the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to this effect.
The State Cabinet has not yet taken any decision on the matter but the government through a letter issued by Joint Secretary Obangla Jamir, has asked the Joint Director of Directorate of Municipal Affairs to issue an order to all the ULBs to give wide publicity to care for animals and also to issue an order to stop capture of dogs for the purpose of slaughter and meat.
As per the Humane Society Internationale, “Dog meat is prohibited in India, yet thousands of dogs are illegally smuggled and slaughtered for their meat in the state of Nagaland. Dogs are tied up in sacks with their muzzles stitched shut before being clubbed to death alongside the butchered remains of their companions”.
At a time when minority communities like Christians and Muslims are opposing ban on cow meat in the country, the Government of Nagaland has decided to look at the possibility of banning of dog meat in the State.
Meeting of state officials for banning dog meat
The decision to ban dog meat was taken in a meeting of state officials with Chief Secretary Pankaj Kumar after a legal notice was served to the State Government by N M Kapadia, an Advocate from Assam, under instruction from his clients, as per sources.
The meeting was attended by officials from Veterinary & Animal Husbandry, Health and Family Welfare and Municipal Affairs. The meeting discussed all aspects of the legal notice. Sources said views and opinions were shared by Municipal Affairs, Veterinary & Animal Husbandry and Health & Family Welfare Department on Food Safety Standard and Prevention of Cruelty to Animal related to the illegal transportation, killing and consumption of dog meat.
The Advocate, through the legal notice, had noted that dog meat was openly sold as food, just as chicken and mutton, while all the parts of a dog’s body are used as food under the impression that it contains iron and is the medicine for some disease.
Related: Horrifying! Dogs beaten with wooden sticks and clubbed to death in Nagaland for illegal canine flesh trade
Consequent upon the legal notice, the State Chief Secretary held a meeting with officials of MAD, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Home, Health and Family Welfare and Deputy Commissioners of Kohima and Dimapur on March 3, 2016, during which a decision was taken to request the MAD for necessary action.
However, no proper directive or order to this has been issued by the state government and it was said that considering the food habits of the Naga people, the Administrators of ULBs are also having serious thought on whether to issue such a directive.
In the meeting the Health & Family Welfare Department was asked to re-submit the draft Food Safety Standard Bill for adoption in the State. It was also asked whether killing and eating dog meat is an offence under the Food Safety Standard Act Regulation of Government of India, and whether Article 371(A) of the Constitution of India could override the Food Safety Standard Act and Regulation.
Under Article 371(A) Nagaland has been given special status where no Act of parliament can infringe the customary and traditional practices of the people of Nagaland.
The meeting also discussed the letter circulated by the Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Department addressed to all Deputy Commissioners on the illegal use of dog meat as food in the State.
Following the directive to consider banning dog meat in Nagaland, the Municipal Affairs Department (MAD) has also been requested to stop the bazaars meant for selling live dogs and their meat, besides giving wide publicity to treat animals with care and love. Dogs are even imported from outside the state as dog meat is considered to have high medicinal value and high nutrition.
Dog meat relished across the globe
Dog meat is consumed in many parts of China, Korea and Vietnam, parts of Thailand, Switzerland, as well as parts of Europe, the Americas, Cameroon, Ghana and Liberia. Today, a number of cultures view the consumption of dog meat to be a part of their traditional and day-to-day cuisine, while others such as western culture consider consumption of dog to be a taboo, although they have been consumed in times of war and/or other hardships. It was estimated in 2014 that worldwide, 25 million dogs are eaten each year by humans.
Dog meat is considered as having high medicinal value and high nutrition. In the state of Nagaland, a kilo of dog meat would cost Rs 300 while in Manipur it would cost approximately Rs 500 as most of the dogs are imported from outside the state.
There are several hotels in the state that serve dog meat, especially in the state capital and commercial hub Dimapur.
By: Pranjali Bhonde | Source: indiatimes