An investigative news report has found that tourists in Indonesia’s Bali are often fed dog meat, believing it to be chicken.
According to a report by Australia’s ABC, an estimated 70,000 dogs are slaughtered in Bali annually, and their meat fed to tourists as chicken.
While the exhaustive investigative report noted that eating the meat of dogs remains legal there, the use of inhumane methods, including poison, to kill the animals is against the law.
The meat of a dog killed by poisoning is also noted to be a risk to unwitting tourists, as toxins are taken up into human tissues, the International Business Times reported.
According to Lyn White, the campaign director for Animals Australia, “The dog-meat trade breaches animal cruelty laws and food safety laws.”
“Tourists will walk down a street, they’ll see a street store selling satay but what they are not realizing is the letters RW on the store mean it is dog meat being served,” she asserted.
The Australian animal rights group sponsored an undercover investigator posing as an independent filmmaker, who spent four months in the popular vacation spot, pretending to be studying local cooking.
The investigator, identified only as “Luke,” was eventually invited by Balinese locals to observe the process of catching, killing and cleaning dogs, as well as learning the methods of preparing and cooking the canine cuisine.
It is not known whether Luke was invited to taste the substances that he was reporting on, and whether he accepted the challenge.
“I began the investigation by pinpointing and getting to know the key players in Bali’s completely unregulated dog-meat industry,” Luke said. “Eventually, they invited me to join them as their gangs stole, hunted, poisoned and killed dogs.”
The Bali Animal Welfare Association, while stopping short of decrying the practice of eating dog, are nonetheless attempting to cut down on the mistreatment of the animal.
“This is not about laying blame,” stated Animals Australia’s White. “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,” she added.
It is thought that Chinese immigrants instituted the tradition of eating dog meat, following their arrival in Indonesia.