A closeup of pig looking into camera from a slaughterhouse in bali

Investigation reveals the cruel reality of ‘meat’ in Bali.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated June 19, 2017

Hidden far from the beautiful beaches and rolling green fields of this island paradise, animals are killed for ‘meat’ in some of the most awful ways imaginable — and tourism is fueling this suffering. Here’s how you can help Bali’s animals.

Bali has been called the ‘Island of Peace’ and ‘Island of Love’. For many people, including millions of tourists who flock there each year, it can represent just that. Health retreats, yoga, cooking classes and a popular surfing scene thrive alongside vibrant nightlife.

Yet just beyond the gaze of visitors and caring locals lies terrible suffering. An Animals Australia investigation into the Bali dog meat trade also uncovered the routine, horrific slaughter of pigs, cows and chickens. Butchered in filthy conditions, many of these animals would end up in restaurants and food stalls frequented by tourists — creating a situation not only terrible for animals, but also dangerous to human health.

Pigs drowned in cages:

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A pig confined to a steel cage barely bigger than their body.

The slaughter of pigs captured on film in Bali was some of the cruellest treatment our investigators have been forced to witness. Pigs — sensitive, intelligent animals — were confined to steel cages, sometimes for days at a time in filthy urine and faeces-laden water, then finally submerged head-first, thrashing in fear until they drown.

Even in the slaughterhouses where ‘stunning’ is practised, our evidence revealed the routine use of makeshift electric stunners, workers giving pigs electric shocks to force them to move — some creating sparks off their skin — and pigs being kicked and hit in the face with bamboo poles. Virtually every instance of the cruelty we documented was in breach of OIE (World Animal Health Organisation) standards.

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A caged pig being tipped face-first into water in a Bali slaughterhouse.
In slaughterhouses in Bali, investigations revealed pigs being drowned in full view of other animals.
I don't even know where to start with this. (The drowning is) highly barbaric and completely unnecessary. I think the average person eating pork or bacon in Bali would be mortified to know this is happening.
Animals Australia investigator

Cows hung by one leg & butchered while still alive:

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A calf standing behind a gate.

Cows sadly fared no better in Bali slaughterhouses. Our investigators captured footage of frightened animals being restrained by ropes for extended periods, ‘cast’ or tripped to the ground, and repeatedly smashing their heads on concrete as they struggled to regain their footing.

Panicked cows were seen being hoisted up to hang from one leg, and dragged into slaughter position by their eyes, ears, or noses. Throats were sawn open, and wounds held apart…

This cruel slaughter was finished on the ground, with animals butchered on the same contaminated floor area.

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A cow tied up by one leg and killed on a bloody floor in a slaughterhouse in Bali.
Investigators in Bali witnessed frightened cows being brutally killed and cut up on bloody abattoir floors.

Chickens ‘bled out’ while conscious:

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Close up of a chicken with brown feathers and red comb and wattle.

The slaughter of chickens is horrific in most places — and Bali is no exception.

There, gentle hens are routinely subjected to highly stressful and painful ‘manual slaughter’, where a chicken’s head is pinned back by hand and her throat cut without any stunning. Perhaps even more disturbingly, investigators captured evidence of chickens being placed in cages afterwards to ‘bleed out’ while still conscious.

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Chickens bleeding out, piled on top of one another in a filthy crate.
Chickens were thrown into a crate to slowly bleed to death.

Carcasses washed in sewerage:

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Meat and organs are cut up on dirty floors.

Evidence showed that animal welfare and human hygiene standards were not being enforced in Bali slaughterhouses. Animals were being killed, gutted and cut up on dirty floors, with footage from at least one facility revealing eviscerated organs and meat being ‘washed’ in the sewerage-laden stream which passed beside the killing floor.

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Meat and organs are cut up on the floor in unsanitary butchering conditions.
Investigators captured extremely unsanitary butchering conditions, which make food poisoning a very real risk.

Dogs hung, strangled, clubbed & poisoned:

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A large, thin dog stands on dirt and has his head lowered with sad eyes.

Street dogs and family companion animals were also being captured and cruelly killed to feed the growing Bali dog meat trade. Our investigation uncovered frightened dogs being caught and roughly bound before being clubbed, poisoned or even strangled to death. Not even small puppies were spared.

Our evidence also shockingly exposed street vendors tricking tourists into eating dog meat ‘satays’ — not only an extremely cruel dish but a potentially poisonous one.

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A dog in Bali is strung up to a tree by the neck.
This terrified dog fell victim to Bali's dog meat trade -- hung from a tree and butchered for 'meat'.

How to stay safe and help animals

Because tourists can never know if the meat being sold poses serious health risks — or whether it is a product of the cruel Bali dog meat trade — the safest, and kindest choice to make while in Bali is to avoid eating meat altogether. And it’s easy!

Bali has a vibrant vegetarian food scene. What’s more, most street or beach vendors will happily cook up vegetable dishes too (like nasi goreng or one of Indonesia’s staple dishes, veg nasi campur). Check out the Happy Cow website or mobile app for great places to eat.

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Colourful, delicious looking food from The Spicy Coconut in Bali.
There's plenty of amazing animal-friendly food to enjoy in Bali!

Wherever we live in the world, every society and every culture has been conditioned to think of sensitive and gentle animals as nothing more than a food source — be they dogs, cows, pigs or chickens…

If we can begin to unravel our own conditioned thinking, there is infinite hope for all animals. And every caring person can play a part.

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