The Tomohon Extreme Market was once a top tourist attraction in the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi — a live animal market filled with everything from fileted pythons to skewered bats and rats.
But the market drew international condemnation in 2018 after animal activists shotof dogs and cats being brutally beaten and blowtorched alive.
Activists urged major travel companies to stop recommending the market as a tourism site, said Lola Webber, Humane Society International’s director of campaigns.
Companies like Tripadvisor swiftly complied, she said.
But banning the dog and cat meat trade — part of a long-held tradition among the local Minahasa people — was significantly harder, she said.
“We were told by many for many years, you’ll never change North Sulawesi, you’ll never change Tomohon. it is impossible,” Webber said.
They were wrong.
since 2017 to change the “immense cruelty and suffering” on display at the market.
After the ban went into effect, 25 dogs and three cats were rescued. They were taken to a sanctuary run by Animal Friends Manado Indonesia for quarantine, after which they will hopefully be placed in their “forever homes, either within Indonesia or internationally,” said Humane Society International’s Lola Webber
Source: Humane Society International
“It’s an enormous victory for animal protection and literally the thousands and thousands of dogs and cats that are spared from Tomohon market every month,” she said.
The traders were given a “small grant” to stop participating in the trade, she told CNBC Travel, while the coalition of activists lobbied the government about the disease risks of live animal markets, which ranges from viruses like Covid-19 to rabies.
, including the island of Sulawesi, according to the World Health Organization.
— the dog and cat meat ban may bring in more travelers to North Sulawesi.
In aon March 5, a user discusses reading about Sulawesi’s dog meat trade.
The post states: “Well the next trip was going to be to Sulawesi, Indonesia … I don’t care what you eat, but torture should not be a part of it. Therefore I cannot in good conscience travel there.”