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July 13, 2016

Campaign launched to end dog meat trade in India

HSI/India releases shocking video of brutal dog meat trade in Nagaland

Humane Society International/India

  • Image from a dog meat market in Nagaland. The dogs are placed in sacks and their mouths tied to ease with the illegal smuggling across state boundaries. Adam Parascandola/HSI


Shocking video footage of dogs being killed for meat in Nagaland, India has been newly released by Humane Society International/India as the animal protection group launches a major new campaign to end India’s brutal and illegal dog meat trade. HSI/India reveals the cruel trade of dogs for human consumption is prevalent in Nagaland and a few other north eastern states despite the practice being illegal. HSI/India estimates more than 30,000 stray and stolen pets are smuggled every year where they are sold in live markets and beaten to death with wooden clubs.

HSI/India has written to the Chief Minister of Nagaland to urge the government to implement the existing ban on dog meat consumption, patrol trade routes and shut down markets. The organization launched an online petition calling on the authorities to enforce the dog meat ban immediately. HSI is encouraged by reports that the Nagaland government sent a letter to the Municipal Affairs department regarding a policy to stop the capture and slaughter of dogs. However, as a ban against this trade already exists, but is being ignored, HSI/India would like to see real and urgent action.

Tell Nagaland authorities to stop the dog meat trade.

The disturbing footage taken during the visits to the local markets of Kohima and Dimapur show that the laws are being blatantly flouted with dogs packed in sacks with just their heads poking out, their mouth either stitched closed or bound tight with rope to keep them quiet, which is done to illegally smuggle them into Nagaland from neighbouring states. During transport and display in the markets, they are denied movement, food or water, before finally being clubbed to death. HSI/India gained unique access to one underground ‘death pit’ where dogs were seen being clubbed to death in front of each other, beaten multiple times in protracted and painful deaths. Most dogs were beaten several times before dying.  

HSI/India Director N. G Jayasimha, who witnessed the killing, said:

“It has been a heart-breaking experience to go to Nagaland and watch these terrified dogs being subjected to such a horrific death. I see animal suffering every day as part of my job at Humane Society International/India, but the brutal dog trade of Nagaland is some of the worst inhumanity to animals I have ever witnessed, and it still haunts me. The underground pit in Kohima where we filmed was like a nightmare. This further reiterates the need for India to have stronger animal protection laws because even this brutal clubbing of a dog would only cost the killer Rs 50 in fines. In launching our campaign today, HSI/India is determined to end this trade, starting with working with the authorities to see that the ban is properly enforced.”

The consumption of dog meat is already prohibited in India, contravening the country’s food safety regulations. The cruel transport and treatment of animals also violates animal transportation provisions and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. However, these provisions are being openly ignored by the traders and the local authorities are failing to implement the law in the north eastern state of India.
The campaign plans to work closely with the government and law enforcement agencies in Assam and other neighbouring states of Nagaland to shut down the trade and spare the lives of thousands of dogs.

Across Asia an estimated 30 million dogs are killed annually for human consumption, with the trade most prevalent in China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. HSI is one of the leading organizations in the world working to end the cruel dog meat trade, and public education about the cruelty involved plays a key part of the strategy. Support from the government and local community can play a significant role in ending the misery these dogs endure in the dog meat trade.

Media Contact: Navamita Mukherjee, nmukherjee@hsi.org, +919985472760

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