Monkeys, bats & snakes sold at notoriously cruel market in Indonesia

Monkeys, bats and snakes are sold alongside cats and dogs that are beaten to death at notoriously cruel ‘extreme market’ in Indonesia

  • Tomohon Extreme Market is located in Northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, and is notorious for animal cruelty
  • Dogs and cats are kept in cages before being beaten to death and sold alongside snakes, bats and monkeys
  • Norwegian Alf Jacob Nilsen, 64, visited the market to document what goes on there, and left feeling horrified
  • Nilsen described the experience as ‘terrible’ and felt as if the cruelty was being put on as a tourist attraction
  • WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT 

Graphic pictures have laid bare the cruel trade in dogs, cats and rare animals at a notorious meat market in northern Indonesia. 

Tomohon Extreme Market, located on the island of Sulawesi, is well-known for cruelty towards animals including cats and dogs which are kept in small cages before being beaten to death and sold.

Norwegian Alf Jacob Nilsen, 64, visited the market and said he felt the abuse was being put on by workers as part of a twisted performance meant to lure in tourists.

Alf Jacob Nilsen, 64, a retired biologist and photographer from Norway, visited Tomohon Extreme Market, in northern Indonesia, which is notorious for selling endangered species such as bats (pictured) alongside cat and dog meat

The bats – known across Asia and Australia as flying foxes – are killed before being blow-torched to remove the fur and then sold, both as carcasses (bottom right) with the wings sold separately (top)

Dogs and cats displayed for sale at the market after being torched to remove their fur. Animal welfare campaigners have long called for the market to be shut down over the trade, which they say is cruel and relies on pets stolen from owners

Flying foxes with their wings removed lay on a stall to be sold at the market. Tomohon used to be listed as a top destination to visit on the island of Sulawesi until animal rights campaigners had it removed

A market trader smoking a cigarette weighs dogs to be sold. Mr Nilsen described the experience of visiting the market as ‘terrible’, and said he felt like traders put on the cruelty in a bid to attract tourists

The retired biologist and amateur photographer, from Hidra, Norway, said: ‘I must admit I had mixed feelings being at the market – it is very hard to describe.

‘Hundreds of locals were offering bush meat, dog meat, bats, chickens and fish for sale.

Many monkey species are protected under Indonesian law and as such cannot be hunted for food, and yet at Tomohon market they are readily found for sale

‘The treatment and killing of dogs the way it happens in Tomohon now should from my point of view definitely stop.

‘Not only because the poor animals are treated in a most brutal way and definitely suffer, but also because there must clearly be a risk of spreading parasites and serious diseases when dealing with dogs and dog meat in this way.

‘It is terrible to see caged stray dogs being pulled out of their cage and hammered to death with wooden batons.

‘I did get a feeling that in one way this was done almost as an attraction to lure in more tourists.

‘Another aspect that worried me a lot when I was there was I believed I was seeing endangered species offered for sale such as monkeys, bats, birds, snakes and other reptiles.’

Tomohon Extreme Market used to be listed as a top tourist attraction on TripAdvisor until animal welfare campaigners complained and had it taken down.

But trade still continues there with the blessing of regional authorities, which have refused to meet with campaigners and hear out their concerns.

Among many of the disturbing offerings at the market are dogs and cats, many of which campaigners say have been stolen from owners before being illegally transported across the country to get here.

Locked in small metal cages, the animals are often forced to watch as their cage-mates are beaten to death with large pieces of wood, knowing that they are next.

Their bodies – often still moving – are then blow-torched to remove the fur before they can be sold.

Aside from animal cruelty, campaigners say markets such as Tomohon are a breeding ground for potentially fatal diseases like rabies. 

As well as being cruel, campaigners have called on local authorities to shut down the market for its lack of sanitation, which they say is a the perfect environment for potentially fatal diseases including rabies to spread

Mr Nislen said that, after visiting the market, he is in no doubt that the trade in dog meat (carcasses pictured bottom right) should be stopped because ‘the poor animals are treated in a most brutal way and definitely suffer’

A worker in blood-spattered clothes displays dog carcasses for sale at Tomohon market. Local authorities have repeatedly refused to meet with animal campaigners, who are trying to have the market shut down

Snake skins and heads lay on a chopping block as the meat is prepared for sale at Tomohon market in northern Indonesia

Chickens are perhaps one of the more ordinary items for sale at Tomohon, which prides itself on selling the likes of dogs, cats, bats, monkeys and other endangered reptiles

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