The Balinese Governor has issued an “official letter” calling on government agencies to stop the sale of dog meat in Bali.
In a letter sent to Indonesian ministers and heads of police, veterinary and agriculture departments, Governor Made Mangku Pastika acknowledged the trade for the first time, as quoted from ABC News.
He said that food made from “raw dog meat that was killed by using cyanide poison and treated cruelly” was having a negative impact on the tourism.
To protect “the image of Bali tourism”, the Governor’s letter told his agencies to “order against the sale of dog meat because it is not inspected and guaranteed to be healthy and can potentially spread zoonotic diseases, especially rabies and other fatal dangers.”
The Governor’s letter also ordered data collection on the location and sale of dog meat, and a community education program to teach “that dog meat is not a food for consumption, especially for foreign tourists”.
Dr Nata Kesuma, the head of Bali’s Livestock and Animal Health Services, said last week: “I am sure we will be able to stop the dog meat trade if all relevant stakeholders are willing to cooperate and have the same vision, although it may take some time.
Animals Australia’s Lyn White has applauded the Balinese Governor’s reaction to the story.
“While fuelled by a small section of the community, the dog meat trade has been increasing rapidly in Bali, so the Government’s decision comes at a critical time,” Ms White said.
“It’s a more than appropriate response to a trade that involves significant animal cruelty, presents a serious human health risk, and undermines rabies eradication programs.”
The founder of Bali’s Animal Welfare Association, Janice Girardi, was more cautious.
“[It’s] a good first step but there’s a long way to go … the consumption of dog meat must be stopped,” she said.
Bali’s Animal Welfare Association, estimates more than 70,000 animals are killed in Bali each year to meet a growing appetite for dog meat.
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Source: abc.net.au / James Thomas and Lesley Robinson