Mizoram, in northeastern India, has taken a significant step towards ending its dog meat trade by amending the law to remove dogs from the definition of animals suitable for slaughter. The Animal Slaughter Bill 2020 was unanimously passed by the Mizoram Legislative Assembly.
The move was welcomed by Humane Society International/India, which is urging the Government of Mizoram to end the cruel and illegal dog meat trade. The consumption of dog meat is prohibited under India’s food and safety regulations, but the law is poorly enforced, leaving thousands of dogs – pets and street dogs alike – to be snatched up to be sold for their meat.
There have also been reports of dogs transported from neighboring countries such as Myanmar and Bangladesh. The cruel transport and slaughter of dogs violates several provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Indian Penal Code, and Food Safety and Standard Authority (FSSAI) regulations.
Alokparna Sengupta, managing director, HSI/India said, “This is a very welcome and much-needed move by the Legislative Assembly to remove dogs from the definition of animals for slaughter.
“We hope that this law will now ensure an end to dog slaughter in Mizoram, but in order to shut down the trade completely, we urge the Government of Mizoram to take action to ban the sale and consumption of dog meat too. This comes at a time when the world is facing a pandemic believed to have been caused by the trade in wild animals for consumption.
“In Mizoram we have witnessed dogs and other animals being transported and slaughtered in horrific conditions, violating India’s health regulations. So in addition to raising awareness about the illegality of slaughtering dogs for meat, we urge the government to proactively promote the human health benefits of moving towards a more plant–based diet, and reducing and replacing the consumption of all animals.”
Approximately 30 million dogs and 10 million cats a year are killed across Asia for human consumption, with the trade most widespread in China, South Korea, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and parts of northern India.
However, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore have dog meat bans in place; recently there was news that Shenzhen might become first city in China to ban dog meat eating. In Vietnam, the city of Hanoi is also considering a ban on dog and cat meat consumption as part of a wider response to the global coronavirus pandemic, which believed to have originated at a live animal market in China.
Images by HSI