75 dogs, to be sold for meat in Nagaland, rescued in Assam
22 of them died later because of starvation and asphyxiation.Updated: May 05, 2017 20:50 IST
Police in central Assam’s Samaguri town rescued 75 drugged street dogs that were to be sold for meat in Nagaland, and arrested four men who were shipping them in a pick-up van.
But 22 of them died later because of starvation and asphyxiation. The dogs, with their mouths taped or stitched, were heaped on top of each other, police said.
“We acted on a tip-off to intercept the vehicle around 10pm on Thursday and arrest the four. The way they were ferrying the dogs was inhuman,” Rajib Barman, officer in-charge of Samaguri police station, said.
The quartet – Raju Momin, Prakash Momin, Sanil Sangma and Paweng Sangma – revealed that they had lured stray dogs with spiked biscuits from the Rupohi area of Nagaon district.
They taped or stitched the unconscious dogs’ mouths to stop them from barking, thereby attracting suspicion. “The four said they were expecting good money for the dogs from clients in Dimapur,” Barman said.
Dog meat sellers in Nagaland pay at least R500 for a live animal. They meat is sold for at least R300 a kilo.
The vehicle has been seized and the quartet detained under the animal cruelty law. Samaguri police handed the rescued dogs on Thursday night to People For Animals (PFA), an animal rights campaign group, which runs a shelter in Guwahati. The rescued animals were brought to the shelter.
“The dogs seemed disoriented. They are recovering, but it is a pity we could not save the 22 that died on the way,” PFA’s Sangeeta Goswami said.
Dog meat is a delicacy for many in Nagaland and Mizoram. But the Nagaland government, under pressure from adjoining states, has been contemplating a ban on dog meat.
Last July, the government asked the state’s directorate of municipal affairs to issue an order to all urban bodies to stop capturing stray dogs for slaughter and meat.
The directive followed a legal notice sent to the government by NM Kapadia, an Assam-based advocate. He said dog meat is consumed in the belief that it contains iron and has curative properties.
Police and animal rights activists have in the past five years saved at least 2,200 dogs en route to slaughterhouses in Nagaland and Mizoram.