Aizawl: Kolasib District Commissioner John LT Sanga issued a public notice on Tuesday, officially banning the inclusion of dog meat in any feasts and gatherings within the district.
This decision follows a request from the Mizoram State Animal Welfare Board to prohibit dog meat consumption during official events.
The issuance of the public notice stems from the clarification made by the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary (Ah& Vety) Department, which highlighted that dogs aren’t included among animals permitted for slaughter under The Mizoram Slaughter (Amendment) Act 2020 Section (A).
This action aligns with the legislative change made in 2020, when the Mizo National Front-led Mizoram government unanimously passed the Mizoram Animal Slaughter (Amendment) Bill, 2020, explicitly stating that dogs should not be categorised as cattle.
Before this legislative change, the Mizoram Animal Slaughter Act of 2013 had listed dogs as a type of cattle. The Mizoram State Animal Welfare Board had vocally opposed this classification, considering it both illegal and unconstitutional.
In response to their concerns, the board had threatened legal action and urged the state government to either repeal the Mizoram Animal Slaughter Act of 2013 or remove the “dog” classification from the definition of “animal.”
In June, the Mizoram government faced criticism for its decision to more rigorously enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rule 2017. This issue generated intense debate among netizens.
During a meeting of the Mizoram State Animal Welfare Board (MSAWB), led by the state’s Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, Lalrinawma, it was determined that the Mizoram Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rule 2017 should be enforced with more stringently.
While dog meat consumption has been a longstanding practice in the state, enforcing these rules would effectively prohibit killing dogs for meat and its sale and consumption.
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The Aizawl Uisa Zuar Association, representing dog meat sellers in Aizawl, strongly opposed this decision, arguing that individuals should have the freedom to choose their food and the state government should not yield to pressure from those advocating for the protection of dogs.
Notably, the Kohima bench of the Gauhati High Court recently invalidated a 2020 government notification that had banned the trade and sale of dog meat in Nagaland.
This notification, issued on July 4, 2020, by the office of the Nagaland Chief Secretary, prohibited the commercial import, trading of dogs, operation of dog markets, and the sale of dog meat in markets and dine-in restaurants.
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