Video of dog rescue in India falsely shared as canines 'saved from Dhaka biryani outlets'

After a branch of a restaurant chain in the Bangladeshi capital faced accusations it served dog meat, a video circulated in Facebook posts that falsely claimed it showed the rescue of pups from "Dhaka restaurants". The video in fact shows a canine smuggling operation busted in the Indian state of Assam, not Bangladesh. Meanwhile, an investigation found no evidence of dog meat in the restaurant's food.

"Dhaka restaurants are making 'mutton biryani' with dog meat," reads a Bengali-language Facebook post that shared the video on May 26, 2024.

Biryani is a flavourful rice dish popular in South Asia commonly made with mutton, chicken or beef.

Trading dog meat is illegal in Bangladesh and dog meat is prohibited in Islam -- which is the country's majority religion.

Bengali text on the video says: "Biryani lovers are invited to have dog biryani". 

The video, which racked up more than 610,000 views, shows dogs packed in gunny sacks. Next to them, a group of young men are seen interrogated by people off-camera.

Screenshot of a Facebook post sharing the false claim

The video was shared in similar Facebook posts here and here following social media backlash against a branch of the Sultan's Dine restaurant chain in Dhaka over allegations it put dog meat in its signature dish Kacchi Biryani (archived link).

Authorities investigated the claim and reported no proof of dog meat in the restaurant's food (archived link).

Police reportedly charged two people for spreading misinformation (archived link).

Dogs rescue in Assam

At the 2:17 mark of the video, a vehicle is seen with the registration plate 'AS 10 E 2913'.

A man can be heard saying in Bengali: "I will show you the vehicle in which the dogs were being taken. Look, 'AS 10 E 2913'. As per our information, this vehicle is registered in Karimganj."

Screenshot of a vehicle registered in Assam seen in the footage

Official records confirm the vehicle is registered in the Karimganj district of Assam state -- which is in India, not Bangladesh (archived link).


A reverse image search and keyword search on Google found a longer video that was livestreamed on Facebook by Assam-based animal welfare group Ashroy-Karimganj on May 22, 2024 (archived link).

The Facebook post read: "Another dog smuggling case rescued... 14 dogs rescued."

The organisation posted that the dogs were due to be smuggled to Mizoram state, which borders Assam (archived link).

"A successful rescue operation was conducted by Ashroy, an animal welfare organisation based in Karimganj, rescuing 14 dogs which were being smuggled to Mizoram," it said.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the clip shared in false Facebook posts (left) and posted by Ashroy-Karimganj (right):

Screenshot comparison of the clip shared in false Facebook posts (left) and posted by Ashroy-Karimganj (right)

Nayan Das, assistant secretary of Ashroy-Karimganj, confirmed the video shows a smuggling operation transporting dogs from Algapur in Assam to Mizoram that was busted on May 22.

"Based on a tip-off about the smuggling, we thwarted the smuggling with the help of Sporsho Animal Welfare Group of Silchar and the Assam Police," Das told AFP.

Local news site Barak Bulletin reported on the operation, adding that the creatures were thought to be destined for the illegal dog meat trade (archived link).

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