Outrage at ‘tradition’: Dogs pitted to fight wild boars to the death in Indonesia

In  a remote area of Java in Indonesia, crowds still gather around a makeshift arena lined with a bamboo wall to watch dogs fight wild boar to the death. Participants in  the village claim the blood-curdling “sport” known as “adu bagong” or boar fighting, is important to preserving  their tradition for hunting.

According to Reuters, the bloody battles using dogs began in the 1960s when wild boars invaded the area and were hunted by dogs to help farmers protect their crops. Since then the fighting has become more of a disgusting sport with the winner earning a grand prize of  $2,000.

“It used to be very simple, not like now when the dogs are trained,” said Nur Hadi, head of Hiparu, a participant in the fighting. “From there it’s been handed down and has even become part of tradition and culture.”

Participants say the contests test the hunting abilities of their dogs; to animal rights groups the practice is nothing less than dog fighting. With this activity however, if the boar survives the fight which doesn’t end until one of the animals is injured, once healed the boar gets to fight in the arena again, For the losers, they are butchered and sold for meat.

Animal rights groups insist the practice is nothing more than animal cruelty and should be banned. In a statement to the Independent, Wendy Higgins, spokesperson for Humane Society International stated:

“The vicious and exploitative fighting of dogs and wild boars in Indonesia is a disturbing spectacle that must be condemned. Watching animals savagely fight each other must never be considered entertainment, nor excused as culture. Not only is it extreme animal cruelty, but it debases us as humans to promote such barbarity as fun. Any tradition that requires a sentient being to become a victim of violence should be consigned to the history books.”

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