The Balinese Governor has reportedly issued a decree which could ban the sale of dog meat in Bali.
The decree was issued in order to ‘protect the image of Bali tourism’ after an investigation by Animals Australia last month uncovered that tourists in the country were unwittingly eating the meat, thinking it was chicken.
The Governor wants to see data about the location and sale of dog meat, as well as a community education program to teach local vendors that ‘dog meat is not a food for consumption, especially for foreign tourists’.
A spokesperson for Animals Australia said: “This decision is historic. And it’s a reflection of the progress that’s possible for animals when people from all walks of life come together with open hearts, open minds and a determination to create change.
“Our Bali dog meat investigation launched an unstoppable chain reaction of compassion. It sparked hundreds of media stories, thousands of personal messages to Bali’s authorities, and inspired over 170,000 people from 159 countries to sign our public petition to save Bali’s dogs.
“And on the ground in Bali, Animals International’s Veterinary Director has worked tirelessly with officials across the breadth of Bali’s Government and tourism industry, culminating in a landmark Summit recommending to the Governor that the trade end.”
Dr. Nata Kesuma, the head of Bali’s Livestock and Animal Health Services, added: “I am sure we will be able to stop the dog meat trade if all relevant stakeholders are willing to cooperate and have the same vision, although it may take some time.
“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.”
But Janice Girardi, the founder of Bali’s Animal Welfare Association, warned against getting too excited about the decree.
She said: “[It’s] a good first step but there’s a long way to go. The consumption of dog meat must be stopped. This is not actually a ban on dog meat.
“What is allowed and what is not allowed needs to be defined by Government with Parliament or technical sectoral input.”