Australian tourists were allegedly tricked into eating dog meat during a vacation to Bali, Yahoo News reported Monday. The vacationers thought the meat they were eating was chicken. The discovery was made by an animal rights group, who traveled to Bali.
Animals Australia, the animal advocate group, obtained footage that allegedly showed people being sold “chicken” satay or kebabs, when it was really made from dog meat.
While it’s not illegal to eat dog meat in Indonesia, slaughtering stray dogs and selling it under the guise as chicken is a violation of food safety standards and animal cruelty laws.
Aside from people being against most people’s personal beliefs to eat dog meat, it’s unhealthy in many cases. The slaughtered dogs are sometimes poisoned before they’re put to death, which means their flesh could be dangerous for humans to eat. Some of the dogs, however, are slayed on the streets, which means tourists are eating food that has not been prepared in a clean environment.
Most disturbing of all, arguably, is the way the dogs are treated.
“Not only is the suffering of the dogs horrifying, tourists are unwittingly fueling the trade,” Lyn White, Animals Australia’s director of investigations, told Yahoo News Monday. “Most tourists have no idea that the letters RW on the outside of popular street food stalls in Bali indicates that dog meat is being served.”
The dogs who are captured in Bali are normally strays. “Our investigator’s footage of dogs being captured and slaughtered is deeply upsetting. The suffering of these dogs is nothing short of heart-breaking,” White explained.
The increase of Australian tourism in Bali has not helped the problems vagrant animals face. “Producing food for 1.2 million Australian tourists annually has increased the animal welfare problems in Bali significantly,” White argued.
But, she’s hopeful that animals will be treated humanely. “We have the opportunity to rectify this unfortunate situation by using our unique friendship with the Balinese to encourage positive change,” she concluded.
Aside from Cambodia, Indonesia has the highest animal cruelty rate, Marc Ching of The Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation told International Business Times in a phone interview Monday.
Once the dogs are captured, they are burned alive. “It’s pretty horrific,” he said.
Ching explained to IBT that his advocacy group was working closely with Yulin, a city in China, where a dog meat festival is held every year. Thousands of dogs are killed.
One of the main problems with stopping the sale of dog meat is that there are no laws against animal cruelty in China. What is illegal, however, is to steal and kill dogs that are other people’s pet. The problem at hand is that most it’s hard to prove that a dog is a pet and not a stray.
“That’s why people are outraged in China,” he wrote. “The dogs are family members” and are being killed.
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