Dogs Are Not Food: Ending the Cruel Dog Meat Trade in Bali


BAWA is committed to ending the cruel and brutal dog meat trade in Bali – one of the biggest threats to the welfare and survival of the island’s beautiful heritage dog. Our investigations suggest that every year up to 100,000 dogs are slaughtered on the island to be sold in dog meat (“RW”) restaurants.


While historically dogs have been eaten by poverty-stricken people in Bali who cannot afford other meat, increasingly dog meat has become a delicacy on the island. Frequently it is eaten for its perceived medicinal properties or by those who see it as a “macho” thing to do; it is also seen as an “extreme food” often consumed with beer.

Although dog meat consumption is often defended as “tradition” or “culture”, in recent years supply has proliferated for commercial reasons. BAWA is deeply concerned about the recent increase in demand for dog meat and the number of establishments selling it in Bali.

The dog meat trade presents enormous issues for animal welfare because of the crude and brutal methods of capture, transport and slaughter of the animals. Capturers and handlers also face the risk of contracting rabies from an infected dog. 

In partnership with Change For Animals Foundation (CFAF), BAWA is committed to working with local communities, religious leaders and authorities to raise awareness of the dog meat trade in Bali, illegal methods of capture, holding and killing the animals, and the risks it poses to both human and animal health.


It is not illegal to eat dog meat. It is illegal to capture, hold and kill animals in ways that are proscribed by animal welfare laws. And it is illegal to operate an unlicensed restaurant. Many small premises that sell dog meat are unlicensed.

Through grassroots education, seminars and advocacy, our partnership is working to:

Reduce the demand for dog meat by educating local communities and authorities on the significant risks the trade poses to human health and to rabies control achievements and programs; to animal welfare; and to the survival of Bali’s indigenous dog

Equip local law enforcers with the skills, resources and knowledge to ensure adequate enforcement of existing laws and regulations

Promote compassion and respect for the highly-significant Bali Heritage Dog – the world’s most genetically pure dog.

Together, with your support, we will work to halt this inherently cruel and dangerous trade. But we need your help! Please consider making a donation so we can continue our fight against this cruelty and protect Bali’s heritage dog from extinction.




BAWA’s Investigations into Bali’s Brutal Dog Meat Trade


BAWA spent two years conducting extensive island-wide investigations into the inner-workings of Bali’s dog meat trade. The findings were shocking and devastating.

Findings suggest that every year, up to 100,000 dogs endure immense and unimaginable suffering to supply the island’s estimated 100 dog meat (“RW”) restaurants.

The dogs are treated with brutality and cruelty throughout the process – from sourcing and transport to slaughter.


Slaughter methods documented:


100% of dogs are inhumanely killed, often in full view of other dogs, with:

70% being butchered alive;

25% poisoned;

1% shot with air rifles; and

4% are inhumanely killed using other methods.

And all of this is for a profit of between just one to four US dollars (Rp 15,000 to Rp 40,000).


  A dog in Bali waiting to be slaughtered

Combating the Trade Across Indonesia


BAWA has partnered with five other animal welfare organisations – the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ), Garda Satwa Indonesia (Animal Guard Indonesia – GSI), Change For Animals Foundation (CFAF) and House of Stray in Bogor, Java – to combat the nationwide dog meat trade.

In seminars and press conferences, this powerful coalition has called for the immediate closure of all dog meat restaurants, and urged policymakers to stop the dog meat trade across Indonesia.

We will continue to socialise existing laws that are in place to protect animals from cruelty, and lobby for the enforcement and strengthening of laws and associated penalties.

Under the Criminal Code people convicted of selling or buying stolen goods (including animals) or who profit from such sales face up to four years jail and repeat or habitual offenders up to seven years. Anyone who sells, offers for sale, gifts or distributes goods they know may be dangerous (such as improperly prepared or undercooked dog meat) and does not warn the customer of this risk can be jailed for up to 15 years and for life (or a minimum of 20 years) if someone dies.

Anyone who steals an animal is liable for up to five years jail or seven years if the offence is committed by more than one person, at night, or by breaking into premises.

The Criminal Code also covers animal cruelty. Offenders who go beyond the limits of a permit to transport animals (see below) with the wilful intention to injure or disable an animal, or who do not give food and water to an animal in their care, may be sentenced to three months, or nine months in the case of death, major injury or loss of a body part.

Anyone convicted of intentionally killing, disabling or losing someone else’s animal is liable to up to two years in prison.

The law also proscribes cruelty to animals in a public place for sport or commercial gain (dog fighting, for example) and sets stiff penalties. The maximum sentence is five and a half years imprisonment or seven years if an animal is killed or cruelly injured.

People transporting animals must have a valid permit issued by an authorised livestock agency. Inability to produce the permit is an offence. The permit must apply to a particular animal or animals. It applies to breed dogs, such as Pit Bulls.


Additionally there are rabies control regulations in Bali administered by the provincial government and local government districts. These prohibit transport of any animal capable of transmitting rabies across any district boundary.


 Dog capture by traders

The Dog Meat Trade: A Human Health Risk?


Many years ago, dogs were eaten because people could not afford other meat. Increasingly though, dog meat has become a delicacy now often consumed for its perceived medicinal properties. However, there is a growing body of evidence that highlights the significant risk that the trade, slaughter and consumption of dogs poses to human health.

The dog meat trade in the Indonesian archipelago involves large-scale, illegal movement of dogs of unknown disease and vaccination status between local government districts (regencies) and islands. It disrupts herd immunity to rabies achieved through mass vaccination programs. The World Health Organization (WHO) has explicitly highlighted the trade in dogs for human consumption as a contributing factor in the spread of rabies in Indonesia, because it encourages the illegal movement of dogs from various sources between islands. Scientists have warned that islands such as Flores, which have a long history of dog meat consumption, will never successfully control or eliminate rabies unless the illegal trade in dogs ends.

Furthermore, in addition to rabies, the trade in dogs for meat has been linked to outbreaks of Trichinellosis (parasitic roundworm) and cholera (a bacterial disease) in various countries throughout Asia where the practice of dog meat consumption persists. The slaughter, butchering, and consumption of dogs has been proved to increase people’s exposure to these diseases.

The brutal and unhygienic slaughter and butchery of dogs and consumption of meat from rabies-positive animals puts humans at risk: Human deaths from rabies have been reported after the slaughtering, butchery, handling and even consumption of meat from infected dogs, in Vietnam, China, and the Philippines.