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Bali Protests Against Turtle Trade

Profauna Indonesia Tries to Raise Awareness of Growing Threat to Turtle Species.

Bali News:
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An Indonesian-based non-governmental organization Profauna Indonesia staged a peaceful protest in Bali during the third week of March 2003, calling for an end to the illegal trade in turtles in Bali and at least 9 other locations in Indonesia.

While issuing a report on detailing the extent of the current illegal trade in turtle meat and by-products, members of Profauna positioned a gigantic inflated turtle on Kuta's main seaside boulevard, opposite the Hard Rock Hotel.

The Slaughter Continues

Despite laws outlawing the turtle trade and recent arrests of turtle traders, turtles are still harvested from Indonesia's seas and landed in Bali where they are slaughtered. Majestic turtles, sometime more than 100 years of age, are slaughtered while still alive and there meat sold in local markets. The shells of the animals are sold for as much as $75 a kilogram to be turned into handicraft products.

Religious Arguments Debunked

Arguments by some turtle farmers that the use of turtle meat is mandated by local religious practice has been rejected by one of Bali's leading religious figures, Ida Pedanda Gede Ngurah Kaleran. According to Kaleran, a respected Hindu holy man, there is no stipulation in the ancient Hindu-Bali literature requiring the use of turtle meat in religious ritual practice.

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