Indonesian market calls for end to 'animal cruelty’ dog and cat meat slaughter

An infamous animal market in Indonesia has put an end to its brutal cat and dog meat trade, which involves beating the animals to death.

In addition to offering meat from dogs and cats, the infamous Sulawesi Island Tomohon Extreme Market also offers meat from bats, rats, snakes and monkeys. This market is well known for its exotic gastronomic offerings.

The previously uncompromising bazaar is the first to finally back down and stop the cat and dog meat trade, animal rights group Humane Society International (HSI) said in a statement on Friday.

It called the ban „a historic deal that will save thousands of animals from being bled and burned to death for human consumption.”

Indonesia is one of the few countries in the world that still allows the sale of dog and cat meat due to local traditions and culture.

The market’s six remaining dog and cat meat traders signed an agreement to stop selling, and Tomohon City’s mayor signed a law banning future trade at the market, the group said in a statement.

„The impact will be far-reaching, closing off a vast network of traders to smugglers, dog thieves and slaughterers,” said Lola Webber, HSI’s campaign director to end the dog meat trade.

„We believe this unprecedented agreement will set the standard.”

The rights group said the deal would save the lives of thousands of cubs on the island, where 130,000 are killed annually.

The market drew widespread criticism from activists for the methods used to slaughter the animals while they were still alive, such as beating, hanging and burning the fur.

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Those calls increased after the first cluster of coronavirus outbreaks in 2020 was linked to a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, fueling fears that the virus was jumping from animals to humans.

HSI and Indonesian rights groups are also trying to stop the trade to prevent the spread of the deadly rabies virus.

Elvianus Pongoh, one of the Tomohon salesmen for 25 years, said the time was right to end the business.

„I’ve killed probably thousands of dogs. Every now and then I’d see the fear in their eyes…I came for them and it made me feel bad,” he said in an HSI press release.

„I know this ban is better for the animals and better to protect the public.”

(with inputs from agencies)

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