A ban on dog meat trade in the Indian state of Nagaland, which was announced in July, has been blocked by the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court on Wednesday 25 November.
The decision to ban the dog meat trade had come after Indian Member of Parliament Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi made an urgent public appeal to urge the Government of Nagaland to stop the trade and consumption of dog meat, after receiving new harrowing photographs of the trade from a Nagaland-based animal protection organisation.
The appeal led to more than 125,000 people writing to the Nagaland Government, and Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy announced the decision to implement a ban in July.
The State Government has decided to ban commercial import and trading of dogs and dog markets and also the sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked. Appreciate the wise decision taken by the State’s Cabinet @Manekagandhibjp @Neiphiu_Rio
— Temjen Toy (@temjentoy) July 3, 2020
However, following protests by licensed dog meat traders licensed – who argued the ban, along with the current pandemic, had adversely affected they livelihood – a stay on the ban was issues by the Kohima Bench of the Gauhati High Court on 25 November, as the court found the correct procedural steps had not been followed in issuing the ban.
The judgment found that that “if an executive exercise is made violating the fundamental rights of the citizens, the executive Court orders cannot stand the test of law“. The judgment noted that while the Nagaland government had been given the chance to file affidavit in September, but no such action was taken.
HSI/India estimates that around 30,000 dogs a year are smuggled into Nagaland where they are sold in live markets and beaten to death with wooden clubs.