Animal rights activists have launched a campaign to end India's brutal and illegal dog meat trade, which sees more than 30,000 stray and stolen animals beaten to death with clubs each year.
Pictures and video footage taken in Nagaland show how the dogs are stuffed into sacks with their muzzles bound before they are killed, despite the practice being illegal throughout India.
Following the end of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China, Humane Society International (HSI) India released images from one underground "death pit" in Nagaland, where dogs were seen being clubbed to death in front of each other.
Many of the dogs had to be beaten several times before they died.
N G Jayasimha, HSI/India's managing director, described the scenes he saw in Nagaland as "some of the worst inhumanity to animals I have ever witnessed", adding that it still haunts him today.
Mr Jayasimha said: “It has been a heart-breaking experience to go to Nagaland and watch these terrified dogs being subjected to such an horrific death."
He described the conditions in the underground pit seen in the footage as "like a nightmare".
"The look of helplessness and fear in the eyes of these animals was devastating: hog-tied in a bag unable to move, their muzzles tied shut so they could hardly breathe, witnessing other dogs around them being beaten and killed."
Pictures from Nagaland also showed how many of the dogs' mouths had been stiched shut or bound with rope to keep them quiet while they were smuggled from neighbouring states.
The dogs were denied food, water and movement while they are transported and displayed at the markets.
"It was clear to me that many of the dogs were stolen pets still wearing their collars, but whether street or pet dogs, none of these animals should ever have to endure such cruelty," Mr Jayasimha added.
"This further reiterates the need for India to have stronger animal protection laws because even this brutal clubbing of a dog would only cost the killer a Rs 50 fine."
HSI/India has launched an online petition calling on authorities to enforce India's dog meat ban immediately and has has written to the Chief Minister of Nagaland to urge the government to implement the existing ban.
The consumption of dog meat is illegal in India but is flouted in Nagaland and other eastern states, where some consider dog meat to have high nutritional and medicinal value, according to the Times of India.
"In launching our campaign today, HSI/India is determined to end this trade, starting with working with the authorities to see that the ban is properly enforced," Mr Jayasimha said.
The HSI estimates around 30 million dogs are killed annually for human consumption across Asia. The trade is most prevalent in China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies