Warning: Graphic video filmed this week (September 2015) in Tomohon, North Sulawesi.....
After hearing reports that dogs were being beaten and flame torched alive in Northern Sulawesi I flew there to see first-hand what is happening. What I documented is quite disturbing.
Dogs being pulled from cramped cages, clubbed on the head and then flame-grilled alive at the local markets on a near daily-basis (everyday except Sunday). Other animals such as domesticated cats, bats and rats faced the same fate.
I understand the issue at stake is a clash-of-cultures and I understand eating dog and cat meat is ingrained in the North Sulawesian culture, but the 'culture and tradition" argument cannot excuse the cruelty involved. In this day and age, there are better methods to go about killing an animal humanely that is intended for consumption.
I asked where the dogs come from, expecting them to say "farmed" or bred for consumption and was further shocked to be told they were local village dogs... I asked if this included pets.... They said yes (conversation recorded on camera). Pet dogs and cats here have a "shelf life" of about 1 year.
The hard part is trying to rationalise the thought process one takes to simply give up your home pet to such a cruel and brutal industry for a few dollars pocket change.
Asking more questions, I was told the dogs are sold for 250,000 rupiah which is about $25 Australian dollars (~$20USD). Of course the thought crossed my mind to buy them all and release them, but being by myself, running short on time, alone in the jungle with only a motorbike for transportation there would be no realistic way I could guarantee their protection. Without proper planning and extra help they will simply end up back in the hands of the dog meat traders.
If this is concerning to you, share the photos and video and spread the word.... Maybe public pressure and awareness will one day bring an end to this trade or perhaps at the very least new methods will be put in place by government to kill the animals in a more humane manner. There are a couple noteworthy charity organisations working on the issue that I am liaising with where you can find more info on the issue, sign petitions and stay updated. (I'll list them below).
I have a lot of Indonesian friends who do not eat dog meat and are even against the trade. Having spent a lot of time in Indonesia, I can tell you first hand the people are extremely friendly and peaceful. If you feel the need to comment, please direct your anger at the government, not the people and do not be racist as that doesn't help.
For more info please visit:
JAAN Indonesia (Local Indonesian animal charity)
Indonesian Petition against dog and cat meat trade: