​Photographer Exposes Brutal Side To Indonesian Dog Meat Industry

Warning: Graphic Content

After gaining access to a dog slaughterhouse in Jakarta through a friend that runs a dog meat restaurant, photographer and journalist Eko Siswono Toyudho has captured the industry's dark nature in graphic photographs - revealing that some dogs are even beaten to death with hammers.

The dog meat is often used in curries, which can sell for as little as £1.65 ($2.23).

Credit: Eko Siswono Toyudho/StoryTrender

"I was able to gain access to the quarantine house because the owner of the dog restaurant is a close friend of mine, so he let me take the pictures," Eko said.

"I witnessed the dogs beaten to death with hammers and left bleeding before being sliced up in order to be cooked.

"Mongrel dogs are obtained from across West Jawa and Banten for 150,000 to 250,000 rupiah [£8-£14/$11 to $19) per animal, depending on their size.

"Each day, between three and six dogs are processed there to be made into a food named 'Saksang'.

"The flesh is cooked with special spices such as andaliman and asamgelugur before being served at special small restaurants for 30,000 rupiahs (£1.65) per portion."

Credit: Eko Siswono Toyudho/StoryTrender

Eko explains that the use of dog meat is fairly widespread in the area - so common that some people might even end up eating some without knowing.

"Dog meat is a typical cuisine from this area of Indonesia, and is much in demand.

"It is a traditional food for the Batak people from North Sumatra, who like it because it is part of their tradition. According to them, the meat is delicious.

"However, it can only be served in certain dishes and restaurants, and is sometimes hidden from the menu."

Credit: Eko Siswono Toyudho/StoryTrender

Eko continues: "Both the quarantine home and the restaurant are still open now."

"My photos show dogs in the quarantine zone before being cooked for food. I captured the beginning of the process until the end, when the animals are served as food to eat for dog meat lovers."

Eko says that he decided to take the photos because he feels like it is his 'duty to tell the story' as a journalist - and hopes that it will raise awareness of the brutality.

"As an animal lover I feel it's a pity to see this kind of activity," he says, "but there is nothing I can do about it to stop it.

"Maybe by telling the story, it will raise awareness with the public.

Credit: Eko Siswono Toyudho/StoryTrender

"I understand people from Western cultures will find this practice upsetting and horrifying, and I hope there will be more done to condemn this kind of activity - but it is their tradition.

"I just feel pity for the dogs beaten to death, but hope my pictures speak for themselves."

According to pressure group Dog Meat Free Indonesia, it's believed that every year millions of dogs are transported through Indonesia for the dog meat trade. Some are even stolen family pets.

It's hard to hear about such brutality, but hopefully with people like Eko exposing the industry and calling it out, things can change.

Featured Image Credit: Eko Siswono Toyudho/StoryTrender

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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