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Indian state of Nagaland bans sale of dog meat

Authorities in India’s north-eastern state of Nagaland have banned the sale of dog meat and halted the import and trading of dogs to be used for food, said officials.

The remote Christian-majority state’s chief secretary Temjen Toy tweeted that the state government had banned all commercial import and trading of dogs. The sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked, has also been banned. The move followed an appeal earlier in the week by Indian politician Maneka Gandhi, who urged the Nagaland government to act.

Gandhi’s appeal came after she received photographs of the trade from a Nagaland-based animal protection group. The appeal led to more than 125,000 people writing to the state government, urging the banning of the dog meat trade.

Animal rights advocacy group Humane Society International said in a statement: “This is a major turning point in ending the cruelty in India’s hidden dog meat trade.”

The group estimates up to 30,000 dogs a year are smuggled into Nagaland, where they are sold in live markets. The group said dogs are also regularly beaten to death with wooden clubs.

Authorities praised the movement to ban the trade. “This is a progressive move. In this day and age, positive social media activism and advocacy has an enormous impact on policymakers. Congrats and thanks to all,” Abu Metha, an adviser to Nagaland’s chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, said in a tweet.

In Nagaland and other north-eastern states, thousands of dogs each year are illegally captured for consumption from the streets or stolen from homes. These states include Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, animal rights groups say.

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