The Nagaland government on Friday announced a ban on the sale of dog meat in the state amid outrage over a widely-shared picture on social media showing the animals at a market in Dimapur city.

“The State Government has decided to ban commercial import and trading of dogs and dog markets and also the sale of dog meat, both cooked and uncooked,” Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy wrote on Twitter.

Social media users and animal welfare organisations had expressed anger over the picture of the dogs, which were tied in sacks with their mouths shut with a rope. “These dogs were being taken from West Bengal to Nagaland on the 26th of last month [June] to be sold for meat for meat,” a Twitter user had posted on Wednesday.

Politician and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi had called for a protest against the cruel manner in which the dogs were being treated and urged the police to stop smuggling of the animals.

Last month, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations, the country’s top animal rights organisation, had also urged the Nagaland government to immediately ban animal slaughter and enforce strict animal welfare laws. “The current laws in India are inadequate in punishing violent crimes against animals,” the organisation had said. “This is beyond abuse. We need to revisit laws.”

Dog meat is widely consumed in parts of North East India and there are no formal laws to keep a check on the dog meat market. There are also no laws about consuming rabbits and monkeys.

Also read: Barking up the wrong tree: Why the debate on eating dog meat in India (and globally) is hypocritical