Kohima: Country’s leading animal rights activists and organsations have hailed the Nagaland government’s decision to impose a ban on commercial import and trading of dogs, dog markets and the sale of dog meat — both cooked and uncooked.

Responding to the move of the state government, front-ranking animal rights activist of international repute and former minister Maneka Gandhi, wrote, “I would like to thank the extremely kind CM of Nagaland Shri Neiphiu Rio ji and Chief Secretary Shri Temjen Joy ji for this historic and humane decision. Thank you to the wise people of Nagaland for supporting it. Compassion is the soul of our nation.”

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Terming it a great news, leading animal rights organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India wrote on Twitter, “Great news! Illegal dog meat trade must also be stopped in Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and elsewhere!”

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Following an uproar on social media to ban the sale of dogs for meat in Nagaland, the state cabinet, through a meeting on Friday, decided to impose a ban the commercial import and trading of dogs, dog markets and the sale of dog meat–both cooked and uncooked.

The state cabinet’s move comes after photos of dogs tied in sacks with their mouths tied around with rope circulated online. Politician and animal rights activist Maneka Sanjay Gandhi called for a protest which sought 50,000 emails to the chief secretary in three days — to stop dog bazaars, dog restaurants and dog smuggling into the state.

Taking to Twitter, adviser to the chief minister Abu Metha tweeted: “#Nagaland Govt. bans sale&import of dogs4meat. Cooked&uncooked meat all banned. This is a progressive move. In today’s age-positive social media activism&advocacy has enormous impact on policy makers. Congrats & Thanks to all.”

The news was first announced by Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy who tweeted “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.”

The move also received mixed reactions — while some appreciated the Cabinet’s decision, others shared a different view.

Nagaland Congress reacted saying: “Dictating food choices is another step towards uniformity espoused by RW ecosystem. Prevention of cruelty to animals cannot be turned into banning food habits of our people. PDA govt has again failed to apply its mind & has gone overboard to appease their masters in Delhi.”

However, an official detailed order is yet to be issued by the state government on how the ban is to be imposed in the state.

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