The term ‘holiday horror story’ is often used too casually, but in the case of dog meat being served as chicken satay on Bali beaches it doesn’t even come close.
Stray dogs are being brutally caught and then passed off to unsuspecting tourists as food.
If that isn’t enough to make your stomach turn and your heart ache, it’s also reported the dogs are poisoned before ending up in the food chain. Stop the world, I want to get off.
Evidence provided to ABC’s 7.30 programme by Animals Australia (AA) shows the poor animals are being bludgeoned, strangled or poisoned before being sold on beaches.
Eating dog meat is not illegal in Bali but killing animals cruelly and meat contaminated with poison for consumption is.
Lyn White, campaign director of Animals Australia said:
The dog-meat trade breaches animal cruelty laws and food safety laws. That is a statement of fact
Dog meat is essentially filtering into the tourist food chain [in Bali].
An AA investigator reportedly found a very blasé street vendor passing off the poor animals to unaware visitors, leading to the following chilling exchange.
What is that you’re selling?
This is why you have a picture of a dog here?
Despite customers questioning the vendor whether it is dog meat, they are misled, the vendor saying ‘No, not dog’ before eating the meat unwittingly.
An undercover investigator for AA infiltrated the dog trade in Bali around the tourist area of Seminyak.
Passing himself off as a documentary maker interested in local cuisine, he was invited by a restaurant owner to witness dogs being caught.
The catching was fiercely aggressive. The dogs screamed and writhed as the noose strangled them. Some tried to bite through the ties to free themselves but with their muzzles lashed, their attempts were futile.
Questioned by ABC on how copes filming such horrors, the investigator says:
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.
I focussed on my camera work but it was gut-wrenching to hear these dogs … screaming and wailing in terror and sorrow.
The investigator tells in brutal detail the horrific conditions the animals are kept in.
A bambo cage holding seven dogs, muzzled and bound by their legs. They lie in their own faeces and urine, whimpering and straining to breathe through the tape that binds their mouths shut.
The dog catcher himself doesn’t eat meat on the basis ‘it makes him want to vomit’, a translator explains.
Over his 30-year career he has killed thousands of dogs.
The investigator witnesses dogs being killed in a variety of horrendous ways including shooting, beating, hanging and poisoning. Shooting is the most humane method.
After witnessing a puppy poisoned by cyanide, the investigator told ABC:
It took many, agonizing minutes for the puppy to die, and for the first time in my career, I turned off the camera.
I sat stroking him as he died and found myself apologising for the cruelty of my fellow man.
There is a growing fight to end trade in dog meat indust in Bali.
Influential Hindu spiritual leader Gusti Ngurah Harta said:
We were shocked when we heard that people here in Bali are eating dog meat. It means they forgot their elders’ teaching.
We are not allowed to eat dog meat in Bali. This is upsetting.
With millions of Australians visiting Bali each year there is a concerted effort to wipe out the cruel and misleading practice.
Ms White of AA said:
This is not about laying blame. This is about unnecessary cruelty that puts the human health population at risk and is causing shocking animal cruelty, it also is breaching Bali laws.
The practice is now outlawed in Bali however the fight continues to eradicate the cruel actions.
You can find out more about the continuing efforts against animal cruelty on the Animals Australia website.