Campaigners Launch Petition to End India’s Illegal Dog Meat Trade

An animal welfare organisation has launched a petition to end the illegal and brutal dog meat trade in Nagaland, India which is taking the lives of tens of thousands of dogs each year.

The Humane Society International, which has worked to save the lives of thousands of dogs targeted by dog thieves in China and bring an end to the infamous Yulin dog meat festival, has revealed that the Asian country is not alone in its barbaric actions towards its country’s dogs. India too has a hidden and cruel trade of dogs for human consumption, despite the practice being illegal and considered taboo by most states.

In the northern state of Nagaland, where dog meat is considered by some as ‘healthy’, the Humane Society International (HSI) in India estimates that more than 30,000 stray and stolen pets are smuggled every year where they are sold in live markets and beaten to death with wooden clubs.

Campaigners Launch Petition to End India's Illegal Dog Meat Trade 1
Photo Credit: Alokparna Sengupta/HSI

The consumption of dog meat is already against the law in India, contravening the country’s food safety regulations. The cruel transport and treatment of animals also violates animal transportation provisions and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. However, these provisions are being openly ignored by the traders and the local authorities are failing to implement the law in Nagaland state.


Disturbing video footage, which we have deemed too disturbing to show here, was taken by HSI/India at local markets in Kohima and Dimapur, showing that the laws are being blatantly flouted.

HSI/India’s managing director, N. G Jayasimha, who witnessed the killing, said, “It has been a heart-breaking experience to go to Nagaland and watch these terrified dogs being subjected to such a horrific death. I see animal suffering every day as part of my job at Humane Society International/India, but the brutal dog trade of Nagaland is some of the worst inhumanity to animals I have ever witnessed, and it still haunts me. The underground pit in Kohima where we filmed was like a nightmare.

Campaigners Launch Petition to End India's Illegal Dog Meat Trade 2
Photo Credit: Alokparna Sengupta/HSI

The look of helplessness and fear in the eyes of these animals was devastating: hog-tied in a bag unable to move, their muzzles tied shut so they could hardly breathe, witnessing other dogs around them being beaten and killed. It was clear to me that many of the dogs were stolen pets still wearing their collars, but whether street or pet dogs, none of these animals should ever have to endure such cruelty. This further reiterates the need for India to have stronger animal protection laws because even this brutal clubbing of a dog would only cost the killer a Rs 50 fine. In launching our campaign today, HSI/India is determined to end this trade, starting with working with the authorities to see that the ban is properly enforced.”

HSI/India has written to the Chief Minister of Nagaland to urge the government to implement the existing ban on dog meat consumption, patrol trade routes and shut down markets. The organization has also launched an online petition (you can join here) calling on the authorities to enforce India’s dog meat ban immediately.

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  1. Nalini Ganguly
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