KOHIMA: Following the failure of the Nagaland government to file its reply on time, the Gauhati High Court has stayed the July order banning the import, trade and sale of dog meat in the State. The development came when the Court was dealing with the petitions moved by traders of dog meat in Kohima challenging the State government's order on import and sale of dog meat. On September 14, the Court had called for an affidavit in opposition from the relevant authorities. However, last Wednesday, Justice S Hukato Swu was informed by the government advocate that no response has been made yet so far by the State.
After considering the submissions made for the petitioners, the Court opined that the July 4, 2020 order banning the import, trade and sale of dog meat may stay until the next date of hearing. On July 3, the State government had clamped a ban on "commercial import and trading of dogs, dog markets and also the sale of dog meat — both cooked and uncooked."
The decision came a day after the 'Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations' (FIAPO) reiterated its appeal to the State government to put a ban on the sale of dog meat across the State. It further stated that the dogs were usually smuggled from Assam and West Bengal and sold at an exorbitant price in the State.
"The decision triggered a huge opposition in the State as the meat is considered a delicacy by many. Dog-meat traders who were issued licenses by the Kohima Municipal Corporation to import and trade dog meat decided to challenge the order and filed the petition in the High Court. However, the State government had officially stated that the order was brought in keeping the food-safety concerns in mind. Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 11 of the 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act-1960' prohibit the slaughter of dogs. The Centre had imposed the ban five months after the Mizoram government had taken a similar action. (Agencies)