Notorious Indonesian animal market ends its brutal dog and cat meat trade


Authorities on Friday announced the end of the “brutally cruel” dog and cat meat slaughter at a notorious animal market on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi following a years-long campaign by local activists and world celebrities.
The Tomohon Extreme Market will become the first such market in Indonesia to go dog and cat meat-free, according to the anti-animal cruelty group Humane Society International, or HSI. Images of dogs and cats being bludgeoned and blow-torched while still alive had sparked outrage.
The permanent end of the slaughter and trade was announced on Friday by the mayor of the city of Tomohon, Caroll Senduk. HSI said they will be rescuing all the remaining live dogs and cats from the slaughterhouse suppliers and taking them to sanctuaries. The Tomohon Extreme Market had previously been touted as a tourist attraction and listed on TripAdvisor as a destination that also sells cat meat and the carcasses of wild and protected species such as bats, snakes and other reptiles. HSI and Indonesian groups operating under the banner of Dog Meat Free Indonesia are campaigning to end the trade in live dogs for human consumption as rabies could spread to humans during the slaughter or contact with infected meat. Videos shot by the campaigners at two markets in North Sulawesi province in 2018 showed dogs cowering in cages as workers pulled the howling animals out and bludgeoned their heads with wooden batons. Often still moving, the animals are then blasted with blowtorches to remove their hair in preparation for butchering and sale. The welfare groups called the treatment of the animals at the markets “brutally cruel” and like “walking through hell,” generating sympathy among Indonesians and around the world. International actors and celebrities in 2018 appealed to President Joko Widodo to close the markets, saying if Indonesia joined other Asian nations that have already banned the trade, it would be “celebrated globally” and end a stain on the country’s reputation.