Dogs are commonly referred to as “man’s best friend,” with 62% of U.S. households having a pet. They’re as smart as a two-year-old child, dream the same way as humans, have a sixth sense, and, according to science, release oxytocin when interacting with their humans, who also release the love hormone, suggesting that they love their owners just as much as their owners love them.
But not everyone appreciates the companionship of a dog. In fact, every year, 70,000 dogs are slaughtered in Bali, Indonesia. These statistics were revealed through an investigation spearheaded by Animals Australia (AA). The dogs are brutally killed, according to the findings — strangled, bludgeoned, or poisoned — before being fed to tourists who believe they’re eating chicken meat. According to AA, about seven times more dogs are killed in Bali on an annual basis than in the Yulin Dog-Eating Festival in China.
To uncover the reality of Bali’s inconceivable dog trade, an AA undercover investigator spent four months pretending to be a documentary maker. During this time, the man, referred to as Luke, was able to pinpoint the leaders of the industry, who eventually invited him to follow along as they stole, hunted, poisoned, and killed dogs.
“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,” said AA campaign director Lyn White.
According to AA, the dogs are dumped in bamboo crates or plastic rice sacks once captured. They are then put through an immensely terrifying waiting game. Their mouths taped shut and legs tied together, they wait for hours or days without food or water, until, one by one, they are slaughtered in front of each other.
With business booming, greed is clearly a driving force that allows such horrific people to turn off morality for the sake of a full pocket.
Street vendors and restaurants are filled with the meat from these dogs, too. In fact, according to Bali Animal Welfare Association, an organization working to rescue the animals from dog traders, 70 restaurants have been found to be serving dog meat.
While it’s not illegal to eat dog meat in Bali, it is illegal to kill animals cruelly, as well as to consume meat with poison.
One one occasion, Luke witnessed hunters catching dogs by laying out fish meat laced with cyanide. Luke was overcome with guilt, disgust, and sadness, switching off his camera as he watched a puppy slowly and painfully die. “I sat stroking him as he died and found myself apologizing for the cruelty of my fellow man,” he said.
The Bali Animal Welfare Association are working hard to try and cut down on the illegal mistreatment of dogs. While they have rescued 150 dogs so far, the fact that an estimated 70,000 are slaughtered annually makes for a grim reality.
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