BAWA has been active in identifying and tracking highly-organised pit bull fights in Bali.
However, often when BAWA identifies the location of a pit bull fight and intervenes, organisers pack up and move their event to another location. They are highly organised and they attempt to be highly secretive.
Organised dogfighting is a barbaric blood sport that goes to the heart of people’s humanity and their early education on animal welfare – and to the issue of awareness and enforcement of laws to protect animals.
People who breed and train (often through torture) dogs for fighting usually are driven by greed. Big money changes hands at horrible, bloody and cruel dogfights. People who support the barbaric blood sport have been denied or have ignored their essential education on respect for animals, which have feelings just like humans and should be treated with care and guardianship.
They are also driven by ego. When their dog wins they feel more important and powerful, when in fact they are cruel and barbaric. They are teaching children that animal abuse is acceptable behaviour … when it is not.
In the fights, dogs are badly wounded. They suffer heavy bleeding, ruptured lungs, broken bones and other life-threatening injuries.
If the losing dogs do not die of their injuries they are often tortured to death for humiliating their owners. Drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot and electrocution are used to kill the losers. Or they suffer a slow rehabilitation and then are tortured again, with heavy chains and starvation, and are forced to fight again and again.
Dog fighting is rated as one of the most serious forms of animal abuse. It opposes the humane values that prevail in most societies today. It is one of Bali’s many thorny contradictions that dog fighting and other blood sports are staged on the island whose majority Hindu population is taught the principle of Ahimsa, or non-violence, and respect for fellow humans and Bali’s animals.
Dog fighting is barbarous and brutal. People who support it on Bali have no cultural justification for it. If others are bringing the horror on to the island, then locals should object. Animal cruelty such as dog fighting has the potential to seriously affect Bali’s tourism image and business.
BAWA works with organisations that actively oppose dogfighting and other senseless and barbarous blood sports. If you are aware of any dog fighting activities, including training and the actual fights, please call our 24/7 hotline on 0811-389-004. Please take photos and record license plate numbers. Email your evidence to www.bawabali.com.
In Indonesia, organised dogfighting is against the law. Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP) Articles 241; 302; 406; and 170 apply and offenders face a maximum 12 years in prison. Animal Health Law No 18 (2009) Articles 66 and 67 also apply.
Many people including some law enforcers are not fully aware of the laws which are dated and are seldom used. BAWA is working with policymakers, religious leaders, enforcement agencies and others to have the laws and their penalties updated to address the full horror of organised dogfighting today.
Those involved in organised dogfighting endanger the safety of people, especially children, and cause severe injuries and death to animals. Please understand that the dogs are the victims. Please do not protect dog fighters who abuse animals. You can download a BBC documentary about dog fighting at www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA963En60fg