AIZAWL, June 20 - The recent confiscation of dogs, allegedly trafficked into Mizoram, by activists of the Humane Society International, Mizoram branch, has caused resentment among dog meat sellers who are accusing the animal activists of “barking up the wrong tree.”
In a press handout, Aizawl Uisa Zuar Association (Aizawl dog meat sellers’ union) countered the allegations of the Humane Society International activists that the dogs were “trafficked” into Mizoram.
On June 8 last, 35 dogs being transported in three mini trucks were seized by the activists with the help of the police. Media reports said that the transporters were charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and an FIR was filed in the Bawngkawn Police Station.
The dog meat sellers’ association said it is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 2005 (Act No. 13 of 2005) under the Mizoram Government and the dogs meant for consumption are transported to Mizoram legally.
“The dogs transported to Mizoram are subjected to medical examination at the check gate by veterinarians. The dogs are allowed to be taken across the check gate only after the transporters clear taxes, taking utmost care that no rule under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 is violated during their transportation,” the release of the dog meat sellers’ body stated.
The dogs are transported in specially designed vehicles for maximum comfort, the dog meat sellers said and dismissed allegations of cruelty to animals as “baseless”.
The association further said that Mizos eat dog meat like people in more civilised nations like China, Korea and Japan do. “In such countries, dog meat is considered a delicacy and some of them even organise a dog meat festival. No one looks down upon them because of their consumption of dog meat. There is nothing to be ashamed of in eating dog meat,” the association maintained.
It considered the animal activists’ actions as an attempt to rob the dog meat sellers of their livelihood. Dog meat is a delicacy to many Mizos, who have been consuming it since time immemorial. Most of the dogs sold in Aizawl for consumption are imported from outside the State. Currently, one kilogram of dog meat costs Rs 400.
There has been a country-wide debate over the consumption of dog meat which almost invariably revolves around issues of cruelty and barbarism.