Revelations of Animal Cruelty, Poisoned Food Sold To Tourists
Balinese government agencies have called for an end to the dog-meat trade in Bali, according to Animals Australia, which sponsored a summit last week to discuss the killing of dogs for human consumption in the popular tourist destination.
The summit follows the ABC’s exposure of a four-month-long Animals Australia investigation that revealed tourists were eating dog, which had been brutally caught and killed.
“All in attendance recognized that such dreadful cruelty to dogs has no place in Balinese culture and it couldn’t be allowed to continue,” Animals Australia’s (AA) director of investigations Lyn White said.
Representatives of Bali’s Veterinary Health Office, the Ministry for Agriculture, and the Balinese Tourism Board drafted recommendations to end the trade.
The recommendations included law enforcement to prevent the sale of dog meat, and an emphasis on educating the public about the trade and its potential for spreading diseases such as rabies.
The animals are brutally caught and then butchered not far from the beaches visited by more than 1 million Australians every year.
Some of the animals are poisoned, posing a risk to humans that consume them, according to a leading toxicologist. (The pup below was fed cyanide-laced fish.)
Whilst eating dog meat is not illegal in Bali, killing animals cruelly or eating meat contaminated with poison is against the law, Animals Australia’s campaign director Lyn White said.
“The dog-meat trade breaches animal cruelty laws and food safety laws. That is a statement of fact,” she said.
In an investigation led by Animals Australia (AA), 7.30 has obtained evidence that dogs are being bludgeoned, strangled or poisoned for human consumption.
“Dog meat is essentially filtering into the tourist food chain [in Bali],” Ms White said.
“We are absolutely delighted with the recommendations from this summit,” Ms White said.
The recommendations are yet to be publicly endorsed by Bali’s Governor, Pastika. Bali’s Bureau of Public Relations has not responded to ABC’s request for comment.
“There is a long way to go … next steps and maintained momentum are all-important,” Janice Girardi, the founder of the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), said.
“Any new regulations need to be communicated widely … It must reach the children and the villagers, not just the leaders.”
AA’s Ms White said the swift response indicated “the seriousness with which they are taking the issue”.
“Concern for Bali’s beautiful dogs has seen thousands of people from around the world contact Balinese authorities pleading with them to shut down the dog-meat trade,” she said.
A week before the summit, Balinese authorities flatly denied the revelations of the dog-meat trade in Bali.
Bali’s Bureau of Public Relations said local health officials could not find “any restaurant selling dog meat,” despite evidence of the trade presented in the ABC report. Animals Australia hoped the summit was a turning point.
“We now have real hope that Bali’s unique dogs will be saved from this terrible cruelty. The recommendations from key officials were unanimous, so we now wait to hear the Governor’s response,” White said.
While circumspect, BAWA’S Ms Girardi said progress had been made.
“It is pleasing that both the issues and the need for change have gained recognition,” she said.
According to Animals Australia, more than 170,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Bali’s Governor to end the dog-meat trade on Bali.