While the 23 carcasses were sent for cremation, the surviving dogs were put through a proper medical examination carried out by its vets
Guwahati, May 5 (Indian Express): The police in central Assam’s Samaguri town on Thursday night seized a Tatamobile vehicle and rescued 75 dogs of various breeds which were being illegally taken to Dimapur in Nagaland to end up in kitchens and restaurants in the hill state. Four persons who were taking the dogs were also arrested.
“While we intercepted the vehicle during routine checking at around 9 pm on Thursday, we discovered as many as 75 dogs of various breeds dumped in the vehicle. On further inquiry, four men traveling in the vehicle admitted that they were transporting the dogs to Dimapur where they would hand them over to a wholesale dealer,” Samaguri police station officer in-charge Rajib Barman said over the telephone.
As the vehicle along with the dogs were taken to the police station located on NH715, Samaguri OC Barman also called up the People for Animals office in Guwahati, which immediately dispatched a truck with six volunteers to shift the dogs to its shelter home here. The four persons arrested have been identified as Raju Sangma, Lucas Sangma, Sanil Sangma and Parwin Sangma, all hailing from Amsoi in Morigaon district in central Assam.
“Of the 75 dogs, 23 had already died, most probably due to suffocation, as the poor animals were packed in sacks and their mouth tied so that they could neither move nor bark. Many of the dogs had belts around their neck, indicating that they were not stray dogs but were pets with different families,” Sangeeta Goswami, who heads the People for Animals (PFA) branch in Guwahati said.
“At least one is a Spitz and another a cross of Labrador and a local breed,” she said, wondering how these dogs had fallen prey to the criminals. “We suspect there is a big racket operating across Assam which pays local boys for collecting dogs in whatever manner they can, and then dispatch them to Nagaland,” Goswami said.
While the 23 carcasses were sent for cremation, the surviving dogs were put through a proper medical examination carried out by its vets, with Goswami saying most of them were suffering from dehydration and had become so weak that they were even unable to bark. “The dogs must have been kept confined without proper food for several days before all of them were collected in one place and put in the vehicle for transportation to Nagaland,” Goswami said.
Several animal rights groups have been pressing the Nagaland government to declare consumption of dog meat as illegal. The NPF-led government had in March last year issued a directive to the state’s urban local bodies to issue an order to stop capture of dogs for the purpose of slaughter and meat. But dogs as well as dog meat continue to be sold openly in Dimapur and other towns of Nagaland, Goswami said. A dog-catcher in Assam gets Rs 50 per catch, while dog meat sells between Rs 400 and Rs 500 per kg in Nagaland.