The Bali Dog
International Specialists Defend Bali’s Threatened Dog
Specialists in dog genetics, animal welfare and community health highlighted the rare genetic structure of the Bali Heritage Dog and threats to its survival at a seminar in Denpasar, Bali on 31 March 2017. The seminar focused on the significance of the threatened Bali dog to science, history and culture. All speakers concluded that the Bali dog is too valuable to lose to extinction and urged Bali to move quickly to protect its survival.
From the University of California, USA, Doctor Ben Sacks (BS, MS, PhD), gave a presentation named “Ancient Asian Dogs and the Genetics of the Bali Dog: Why is the Bali Dog Unique?” He showed DNA research that is helping scientists unravel dog evolution and which is contributing to our understanding of human evolution. “The Bali dog is far too important to this significant research and must be recognised and protected,” he said.
BAWA Founder and CEO Janice Girardi said that although the dog was historically significant to Balinese culture, only 20% of the estimated 300,000 to 400,000 dogs in Bali today could be considered pure Bali dogs. Threats included mass elimination of dogs in response to rabies; the trade in dog meat; cross-breeding; and the impacts of modern development. A similar seminar was later held in Ubud, Bali, which is BAWA’s base.
The genetically rare and ancient pure Bali dog,
a valuable scientific resource for revealing
both dog and human evolution, today
faces so many threats to its survival.