Australian tourists are unknowingly eating dog meat in Bali according to evidence provided on the ABC’s 7:30 program.
In conjunction with Animals Australia, the investigation revealed some 70,000 Balinese dogs are captured and slaughtered for their meat every year, then sold onto speciality restaurants.
Feeling sick yet? Just wait, there's more.
The investigation was carried out by a man the ABC dubs ‘Luke,’ who infiltrated the dog-meat trade industry over a period of four months.
He was privy to the cruelest of practices, including the dogs being shot, poisoned with cyanide, bludgeoned to death, hung upside down and left tied up with their mouths taped shut for days.
While eating dog meat is perfectly legal in the province (some Balinese even believe its consumption is good for their health), activists claim the trade is often in breach of animal welfare laws and safety regulations.
Animals Australia's campaign director Lyn White said: "The dog-meat trade breaches animal cruelty laws and food safety laws. That is a statement of fact."
"Dog meat is essentially filtering into the tourist food chain [in Bali]."
Luke also told the ABC he observed foreigners purchasing and consuming meat from unassuming vendors on the street, unaware that the letters 'RW' indicate it came from dog.
“A group of Aussie tourists enjoyed the dog meat satays so much they went back for seconds,” he said. “Yet had they known the origin of the meat they would have been sickened.”
However, Luke also captured footage of vendors being directly deceptive, and peddling dog meat as chicken.
7.30 records the following exchange near a beach in Seminyak:
AA investigator: "What is that you're selling?"
Vendor: "Dog satay."
AA investigator: "This is why you have a picture of a dog here?"
Vendor: "Yeah, yeah."
When tourists approach the same vendor, though:
Vendor: "Satay just $1."
Australian: "Mystery bag. What is, chicken?"
Australian: "Satay chicken, not dog?
Vendor: "No, not dog.
Australian: "I'm happy just as long as it's not dog."
"Mobile dog meat vendors are trawling popular beaches in Bali selling satays from buckets, deliberately not telling people the origin of the meat and when asked, they lie.”
You can read the full report here, but be warned, it contains disturbing and graphic footage.
This article first published on Marie Claire.