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Gauhati High Court stays Nagaland govt. ban on dog meat

A man walks with his pet dog at a dog meat market. File photo for representation purpose only.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

GUWAHATI

The Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court has stayed the Nagaland government’s decision to ban the commercial import and sale of dog meat in markets and restaurants.

Hearing a petition by licensed dog meat traders, the court passed the interim stay on November 25.

Pronouncing the order, Justice S. Hukato Swu said the court was of the view that the ban order “may be stayed until the next returnable date”.

On July 3, Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy announced the State government’s decision to ban “commercial import and trading of dogs, dog markets and also the sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked”.

The ban came into effect from July 4 across the State, four months after Mizoram took a similar step. Dog meat is a delicacy among certain communities in the two northeastern States.

The Nagaland government had cited food safety regulations as the primary reason for the ban, but the decision was believed to have been taken under pressure from animal rights groups in India and beyond.

Traders licensed by the Kohima Municipal Corporation for importing dogs and selling dog meat in the Nagaland capital challenged the ban.

They pointed out that the Chief Secretary was not statutorily empowered to pass such orders on food and safety. They also said the procedural steps under the Food Safety and Standards Act were not followed.

“The ban adversely affected the livelihood of people dealing in dogs and dog meat, and the pandemic situation made it worse,” said N. Kuotsu, one of the petitioners.

The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations, which had asked the Nagaland government to ban dog meat consumption, said the canines were usually smuggled from Assam and West Bengal.

“A dog caught in Assam for ₹50 is sold for ₹1,000 in Nagaland’s wholesale market. Dog meat sells for ₹200 per kg on the streets of Nagaland, which is about ₹2,000 per dog,” an FIAPO statement said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 9:34:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gauhati-high-court-stays-nagaland-govt-ban-on-dog-meat/article33192064.ece

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