Activists Call for End to Dog Slaughter in Indonesia

Animal rights activists have slammed the slaughtering of dogs for their meat in Indonesia and claim that almost all of the dogs killed are stolen from their owners or snatched from the streets.

As many as one million dogs are killed for consumption every year as dog meat is considered a traditional delicacy for some of the small percentage of non-Muslims who live in the country. In the province of North Sulawesi alone, thousands of dogs are killed each week.

According to Animal Friends Manado Indonesia, 90 percent of the dogs killed in the province had been stolen or taken from the streets. After they are seized, the dogs are taken on grueling journeys to one of 200 live animal markets in the province. Most go through rough handling by traders before eventually being bludgeoned in public, blow-torched alive, and butchered, according to Dog Meat-Free Indonesia.

“It was like walking through hell. They huddled together in cages, trembling with fear as they watched others being killed around them, waiting their turn,” said Lola Webber, Dog Meat-Free Indonesia campaign coordinator & Change For Animals Foundation founder, as quoted by dailymail.co.uk.

“The sight of absolute terror in their eyes, the thumping of the club as they were bludgeoned, their screams of pain, and the smell of burning hair and flesh, were appalling and unforgettable,” she added.

The slaughtering and eating of dogs does not only raise animal rights issues, but also health issues for humans. In 2007, a research in North Sulawesi showed that up to 10.6 percent of dogs being sold for human consumption were infected with rabies.

Kelly O’Meara of Humane Society International said it is in Indonesia’s own interest to put an end to the dog cruelty and trade.

“If Indonesia has any hope of achieving its goal to eliminate rabies by 2020, it needs to take urgent action to shut down these macabre markets,” Kelly said.

 

Photo courtesy of Raymond Walsh, News Dog Media

For other reads on the dog meat trade in Indonesia, click here.

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Ardi Wirdana is a Jakarta-based journalist covering a variety of topics including business, policy, and news in Indonesia.