Tomohon Extreme Market, in northern Sulawesi, is a familiar place for international tourists to Indonesia.

This market was condemned in 2018 when international animal protection activists posted on social networks videos of dogs and cats here being brutally beaten and burned alive.

A stall selling dog meat at Tomohon Extreme market in 2020. Photo: Skynews Indonesia

According to information from Humane Society International, last July, Mr. Caroll Senduk, mayor of Tomohon, signed a law banning the sale of dog and cat meat at the market.

Lola Webber, director of the Dog Meat Free Indonesia campaign at Humane Society International, said activists are calling on many major travel companies around the world to stop introducing Tomohon Extreme market as a tourist destination.

Ms. Webber shared that animal protection activists have been trying to eliminate the trade and slaughter of dogs and cats at this traditional market since 2017. The recent result is a `huge victory`, helping

`Traders were given a small subsidy to stop trading in dog and cat meat. However, they still trade many other types of raw animal meat, potentially risking the spread of infectious diseases such as Covid-19 or distemper.

The director of the Dog Meat Free Indonesia campaign hopes that the ban at Tomohon market will serve as a precedent to work with the government and market management board to influence small businesses and consumers of dog and cat meat in other provinces.

Animal protection activists shared with CNBC Travel that the biggest barrier to ending the dog and cat meat trade in particular and live animal meat lies in management issues.

Frank Delano Manus, an animal rights advocate with Animal Friends Manado Indonesia, said 95% of exotic animal meat in North Sulawesi originates from neighboring provinces, often without government inspection.

In 2020, the Animal Friends Manado Indonesia organization tried to stop the sale of snake and bat meat at Tomohon Extreme market, when the Covid-19 pandemic spread but failed.

For many years, Tomohon Extreme has always been promoted as a famous tourist destination in North Sulawesi.