Dog meat is found commonly across Nagaland and to an extent in Mizoram. Since dog meat is common but dogs are not ‘farmed’ as they are say in Korea & China they are smuggled into Nagaland, much as they are from the countryside of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand into China. Reportedly 200+ dogs are smuggled across from Assam into Nagaland each day. In Assam ‘dog catchers’ (working for the smugglers) get about Rs 50/ $1 for a single dog they catch – the same dog is sold wholesale in Nagaland for Rs 1000/ $20. In the streets of Nagaland dog meat sells for Rs 200/ $ 4-5 per kg i.e. roughly Rs 2000/ US$ 40-50 per dog which is an amazing 40-50x from the catchers ‘price’ a hundred kilometers away.
All of the dog is eaten with the head as the prized part of the dog. The reasons for dog-meat are many, and ‘traditional’ in Nagaland – dog meat is relished for its unique ‘pungent taste’, it is thought to work as an aphrodisiac, it’s thought to be a ‘warm’ meat for winters and because it increased iron in a human body!
In these pictures a tribal Naga woman sells dog meat at a daily market in Dimapur, Nagaland.