Australian tourists are unwittingly eating dog meat in Bali, according to evidence provided to the ABC’s 7.30 program, as quoted from ABC News.
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 human health, according to a leading toxicologist.
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.
Behind 66 Beach in the tourist area of Seminyak, in southern Bali, a street vendor admits he’s selling dog.
AA investigator: “What is that you’re selling?”
Vendor: “Dog satay.”
AA investigator: “This is why you have a picture of a dog here?”
Vendor: “Yeah, yeah.”
But he tells tourists a different story.
A group of Australians asks the vendor if the satays are dog meat.
Vendor: “Satay just $1.”
Australian: “Mystery bag. What is, chicken?”
Australian: “Satay chicken, not dog?”
Vendor: “No, not dog.”
Australian: “I’m happy just as long as it’s not dog.”
Misled, they unknowingly eat the dog meat.
It’s not just being sold on the beach — specialty restaurants sell dog meat as well.
“Tourists will walk down a street, they’ll see a street store selling satay but what they are not realising is the letters RW on the store mean it is dog meat being served,” Ms White said.
Terrified dogs caught, muzzled and put into bags
Over four months, an undercover investigator for Animals Australia infiltrated the dog trade in Bali. To protect his identity we have called him ‘Luke’.
“I began the investigation by pinpointing and getting to know the key players in Bali’s completely unregulated dog-meat industry,” he said.
“Eventually, they invited me to join them as their gangs stole, hunted, poisoned and killed dogs.”
Pretending to be a documentary maker interested in local cuisine, Luke was invited by a restaurant owner to witness his father, Pak Puris, catching dogs in Kintamani in Bali’s north.
7.30 meets Luke in the tourist hotspot area of Seminyak. After seeing his vision, we ask: how do you cope filming such horror?
“As an animal cruelty investigator, I have trained myself to cope with cruelty, but nothing prepared me for the brutal catching of dogs in the village,” he said.
“I focussed on my camera work but it was gut-wrenching to hear these dogs … screaming and wailing in terror and sorrow.”
During dinner, Luke gets a phone call. A contact tells him where captured dogs are being held for slaughter. We make plans to go there.
Bound dogs bludgeoned to death
We drive for four hours to Bali’s north. It’s near dusk when we stop and Luke leads us towards an outcrop of trees at the back of a rice paddy.
Behind the trees, a small tin-roofed hut shelters a tethered cow. Opposite is a bamboo cage holding seven dogs, muzzled and bound by the legs with vinyl tape.
It is dark inside. The dogs are lying in their own urine and faeces. They whimper and strain to breathe through the tape that binds their mouths shut.
A dog’s leg dangles by a rope from the tin roof. The scene is confronting.
The catcher, Pak Puris, sits outside the cage.
Shortly, he will bludgeon them to death with a metal pole. It is not an exact science, and harrowing to watch.
We did not film it ourselves but saw Luke’s vision, which he’d recorded on an earlier occasion.
We’re told Pak Puris is 83. Through a translator, he tells us he doesn’t eat dog, “it makes him want to vomit”.
Over three decades, he’s killed thousands of dogs. “Twelve a week,” the translator said.
We ask him why he chose the dog trade.
“He can’t get another job, he is too old,” the translator said.
Some locals think dog meat is good for their health
A 60-year-old man tells 7.30: “It is good for health especially during winter. It is good for breathing. It makes us strong.”
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