Help stop the dog and cat meat "trade"
Update July 2020 and Great News: Dog Meat is now banned due to ours and many other NGO’s activism! Per the request of Smt. Maneka Gandhi of People for Animals - 125,000 emails were sent in 3 days and Government Officials have agreed to a ban! Read the news story here.
Further from Activist Azam Siddiqui:
What now needs to be seen is how this BAN is expected to play on ground. Forcing a tradition to end just like that by a Government Ban would certainly generate a huge backlash so fingers crossed we must be very vigilant, continue our investigations, be observant of the new games & tricks Dog trade mafia would execute in smuggling in these animals.
Here is activist Azam Siddiqui's personal account against the dog meat trade:
Nagaland is the most Eastern state of the Northeastern region of India.
It has mostly been in the news for all the wrong reasons - militancy, drugs, wildlife crimes and animal abuse have ripped apart the peace and tranquility of both humans and non-humans for years now.
Despite it being the constitutional duty of every citizen of India to show respect and care for the environment, wildlife and all creatures, animal protection laws and rules have always been flouted in the worst possible manner right under the nose of the enforcement agencies. In other words the State machinery and administration did not not just watch mute all of this but instead is actually believed to have blessed them to continue unrestricted.
Finding a victory for an animal abuse within the state limits has always been an uphill battle considering the fact that most people there would eat anything that moves.
The village and town wet markets of Nagaland are notoriously flooded with exotic wildlife ranging from venison to live or slaughtered pythons/reptiles and lizards, toads, insects, worms, parasites, guinea pigs, rats, mice, birds, and their nests, and also Man's Best Friend - the Dog.
Having wiped out the entire population of homeless dogs in Nagaland, the notorious Dog meat trade community has been surviving on the supplies from the neighbouring states where Dog is a companion and not food.
Because they don't "farm" dogs there, they steal them for consumption.
Poverty and easy money lured many from the states of Assam, Tripura etc to come into a nexus with these traders and hundreds of dogs from the villages and towns of these neighbouring states would daily eventually end up in gunny sacks with their mouth tied smuggled into the markets in Dimapur, Kohima etc where they would be openly sold for food.
These dogs are not just to be slaughtered and sold as meat but some brutal delicacies would demand be the dog to be starved without food and water for days several days, then feed them half cooked rice and club them to death. The dog would then be roasted over fire and once cooked it's cut open, the rice inside becomes fully cooked (just how brutal is that).
Man's Best Friend - aah, can you imagine what trauma they would go through just to end up on their plates?
The oldest among the organisations to consistently fight this happens to be 'People For Animals' led by Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi. For decades now she has been after officials, Chief Ministers, shooting off SOS regularly and been the source of motivation for young animal advocates like me then and even now.
I too played my role as a member of PFA under Smt. Gandhi's leadership, tried to contribute whatever little I could within my capacity as an individual whilst I was in Guwahati.
In 2005, then PETA India Chief Functionary and my good friend Ms. Anuradha Sawhney asked me to investigate this trade. I was joined by a PETA India investigator Tejal Shah who would come all the way from Mumbai to Guwahati and together we went to Dimapur in Nagaland. We pretended to be a Hindi speaking tourist couple from Mainland India who have come to shop at the local Chinese Electronics Market that used to sell smuggled goods right next to the market that used to sell dogs.
We booked an auto rickshaw (tuk tuk) for the whole day and made friends with the guy who too was of a North Indian origin. Showing curiosity and interest in the place we also asked him about the dogs there. He was very keen to show us around the market.
My only concern was how I best would I be able to capture it on camera. I had told Tejal what she would be witnessing and to be prepared for heart wrenching sights and to control her angst and emotions.
All set we entered and quickly I started recording video on my camcorder while Tejal started clicking pics on her aim an shoot camera. Within seconds I could see Tejal's eyes going moist, her face turning red with anger, and then tears started gushing that would just not stop. The traders saw this too and before they could react I told myself, This is it ! It's time to leave.
I whisked Tejal and myself out of the market, we were safe. The eye contact I made with the dogs I had filmed, their mouth tied with strings, all they would perhaps wanted to tell me looking into my eyes is: 'Can't you save us, my friend. You are an animal person, right?'
Ashamed, I failed to save them then. And even today I live with that terrible guilt of failure.
PETA India started off an aggressive campaign after acquiring those images and video, followed by the Humane Society and others. Over the years with the invasion of smartphones, the internet and tourism society was flooded with more and more images and visuals of atrocities on animals and specially the Dog Meat Trade.
The Ban victory here for the Dogs involved in meat trade in Nagaland is an outcome of millions of animal advocates local and worldwide, NGOs, investigators and the priceless spearheading of this movement over time by none other than Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi.
The sense of awareness among people in Northeast with specific to animal rights is getting more and more compassionate. Even people within Nagaland have started standing up against such brutalities. This gives more hope to championing animal rights in the region.
What now needs to be seen is how this BAN is expected to play on ground.
Forcing a tradition to end just like that by a Government Ban would certainly generate a huge backlash so fingers crossed we must be very vigilant, continue our investigations, be observant of the new games and tricks Dog trade mafia would execute in smuggling in these animals.
Dogs begged for our help! Rescuers found the dogs, they had their mouths taped shut and their paws tied tightly with rope. The desperate dogs - which were trapped inside bags - could be heard whining so piteously. Our partner group - Just Be Friendly (JBF) and people in the N.E. states of India are looking for the culprits who transport the dogs for meat all the way to other nearby states.
The consumption of dog meat is illegal in India but is flouted in the far N.E. states of Mizoram and Nagaland, where hundreds of dogs are killed brutally for the meat trade. Some consider dog meat to have high nutritional and medicinal value.
The non-graphic actual rescue is documented here by activists we support:
Watch this video for a very graphic depiction of what happens to the dogs if they are not rescued - warning!
More info: Laws are being blatantly disregarded 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 neighboring states. During transport and display in the markets, they are denied movement, food or water, before finally being clubbed to death in 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. If they are not beaten to death there are boiling pits of water...
Cat meat in India
Unfortunately this is still happening in isolated incidents in South India. It was the tradition of the Narikurava tribal people to take this as a living as part of their hunting and trapping and specifically when cat populations were unwanted and people would call them to eliminate the cats in areas where there were no animal welfare groups to help the cats.
Many people believe that cat-meat is an aphrodisiac and has several medicinal properties. Quacks prescribe cat meat for impotency, asthma and arthritis, also cat meat is considered a delicacy among gypsies.
Cats would be caught and killed most cruelly for meat. This included cats are snared at garbage collection points, by cat snatchers using a long handled rod with a wire loop, who cram them into plastic gummy bags, and bash them with a lump of wood, until they stop thrashing. Other methods include boiling alive. This is also highly illegal and groups work along with the police to catch the culprits and rescue the cats.
Cats, some neighborhood pets, rescued before being killed in horrible ways to be eaten! They are now in a cat sanctuary for life, help support their care!
Thanks to the activists courageous compassion this horrifying practice is on the wane. And cats can live in safety and peace.
Your kind donation to Help Animals India can help us help makes these practices of dog and cat eating a painful story of the past!