Following the Nagaland government’s order to ban the trading of dogs and also the sale of both ‘cooked and uncooked’ dog-meat, a debate has emerged as to whether the order passed by the state government is democratic or not.
While regarded as a welcome move, battle-lines were also drawn as the state government’s decision also received criticism in equal measure, largely on the grounds of infringement on people’s dietary practices.
While pet lovers welcomed the decision saying that the Nagas can survive without dog meat, others viewed it as “nonsensical” which would only drive the dog-meat trade underground like “the failed Nagaland Liquor Prohibition Act”.
With dog meat being culture-specific for many Naga tribes, a Naga scholar who preferred to remain unnamed held the ban as a violation of one’s traditional rights.
On the other hand, some felt that the decision has been taken in a hasty manner by the government without wider consultation.
“There should have been a discussion by the state government because living in a democratic country like India, people should have had the opportunity to debate and discuss why there is a need to ban,” Gugu Haralu, a peace activist while speaking to ANI.
“I am a pet lover and so I don’t take dog meat. However, the government should have wider consultation in a democratic way. But they hastily took the decision,” she added.
Many people also raised concerns on social media saying, “Cruelty to animals is bad. There have to be ethical norms in place but outsiders policing and coercing the diet of native and indigenous people is problematic.”
While banning of commercial imports is acceptable, a netizen viewed that the ban on the sale of dog meat is an exploitation of the indigenous dietary habit.
“This is a sensitive issue. But as for me, I can’t just think of killing dogs which are like our family members for meat. It is too painful to think of it for me,” Yaimi Jagoi said.
The Nagaland government took the decision on July 3 to decree bans the commercial import-trading of dogs and also the sale of both ‘cooked and uncooked’ dog-meat in a state.