The sale of dog meat has been officially outlawed in Bali following an international outcry from animal rights activists, Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said in a circular letter.
The letter, which says the ban is effective immediately, was sent to officials and authorities across the resort island. In a copy seen by local media, Pastika ordered further data collection on the sale of dog meat, community outreach programs and assistance in helping dog meat vendors switch to another meat.
Bali found itself in hot water recently after an Australian television documentary showed evidence of a violent dog trade as well as the peddling of dog meat to unsuspecting tourists. The footage, provided by Animals Australia, shocked audiences in Australia and Indonesia and prompted investigations by Balinese authorities.
Dr Nata Kesuma, Head of Bali’s Livestock and Animal Health Services, told Australian state news agency ABC last week it would be hard work but possible to fully end the trade
“It is important to end the trade in Bali, especially to protect our culture and tourism industry as well as to apply the national animal welfare law,” Kesuma said.
In comments to the ABC, Bali Animal Welfare Association Founder Janice Girardi was less optimistic.
“This is not actually a ban on dog meat,” she said. “What is allowed and what is not allowed needs to be defined by the government.”
Animals Australia, whose research was integral to the initial investigation, welcomed the news.
“This is a momentous decision by Governor Pastika that will not only spare many thousands of dogs from terrible suffering but will help to restore the positive relationship the Balinese people have enjoyed with their unique heritage dogs for centuries,” Animal Australia Chief Investigator Lyn White said in a press release provided to Coconuts Bali.
Image credits: Christian Siedler