Bali seeks to curb dog meat trade

Authorities on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali are seeking to curb the sale of dog meat, an official said on Friday, after an investigation by an Australian animal protection group revealed the cruel treatment of dogs at the hands of traders.

Animals Australia, after a four-month long investigation, revealed that dogs were strangled, beaten or poisoned for sale as food in Bali’s restaurants and street stalls.

It also said some foreign tourists unwittingly consumed dog meat because they were unaware that the sign “RW” seen at food stalls was an Indonesian euphemism for dog.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika earlier this month issued a circular ordering officials to control the dog-meat trade, saying that it is not fit for human consumption.

“We’re taking the matter seriously and we’re taking action,” said a spokesman for the governor’s office, Dewa Gede Mahendra Putra.

He said authorities were collecting data on dog-meat traders and mounting an information campaign against eating dog.

He said, however, there was still no law banning the sale of dog meat in Indonesia.

Some animal rights activists and restaurant owners say there is a growing appetite for dog meat in Indonesia, though reliable data are scarce.

On Bali alone, between 60,000 and 70,000 dogs are slaughtered and eaten a year, according to the Bali Animal Welfare Association.

About 85 per cent of Indonesia’s 250 million people are Muslims, most of whom refrain from eating dog meat, but Bali is predominantly Hindu.

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