Food by VICE

Dog Meat Is Being Sold to Unwitting Tourists in Bali

According to a recent report, vendors are brutally slaughtering dogs and then telling foreigners that the meat is chicken.

by Nick Rose
Jun 20 2017, 10:00pm

Not meat dog. Photo via Flickr user Jeremy Keith

According to a recent report by animal rights group Animals Australia (AA), every year, seven times more dogs are killed in Bali than during the notorious Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in China.

That number is staggering, but it's still only the tip of the iceberg. The report goes on to claim that much of the meat from those dogs is destined for human consumption, specifically to tourists who think they're buying chicken "satay sticks" on the beach.

While consuming dog meat is not illegal in Bali, the Indonesian island is a destination for more than four million tourists every year, many of whom are presumably not interested (at best) in consuming dog. Additionally, Animals Australia says that some of the dogs are killed using poisons like cyanide that could be harmful to humans as well.

READ MORE: Reports Emerge that Dog Meat Will Finally Be Banned at Chinese Food Festival

To gather these findings, AA used an "undercover investigator" to infiltrate the dog trade in Bali, who posed as "a documentary maker interested in local cuisine." The investigator even captured video of vendors lying to tourists about what they were about to eat, footage which later aired on Australian TV network ABC's program 7.30.

"Satay chicken, not dog?" an unidentified tourist in the video asks, to which the vendor responds, "No, not dog." The tourist then purchases and consumes the skewer of meat. Later, that very same vendor admits to the AA investigator that the meat in question was, indeed, canine.

The unnamed investigator also documented dogs being beaten to death, hung from trees, and poisoned. But the end goal of AA's campaign is not investigative journalism, it's change.

"Animals Australia is committed to working with Bali's government to create animal welfare improvements on the island," AA spokesperson Lisa Zilberpriver told MUNCHIES. "The Veterinary Director of our global arm, Animals International, has relocated to Bali temporarily as part of our offer to partner with local authorities and achieve an end to the terrible cruelty and public health risks associated with the dog meat trade."

Animals Australia also says they've presented their evidence to the "highest levels of government" and "every possible influencer in between—from community leaders to religious leaders to health professionals and businesses"—in the hopes that it will lead to a ban of the dog meat trade, which they say is in violation of both animal welfare and food safety laws.

"It's estimated that 70,000 dogs are slaughtered for meat in Bali each year," Zilberpriver said, confirming that the number is indeed seven times higher than the estimated amount of dogs killed at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. "This figure is based on close studies carried out by local groups over many years."

Despite rumors of dog meat being outlawed at the the Yulin Dog Meat Festival this year, Chinese news media outlets are now reporting that the festival will return as usual this coming weekend.