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Tag: sport

Indonesian province cracks down on brutal fights that pit dogs against wild boar


Under pressure from animal activists, authorities in Indonesia’s West Java province have called a halt to brutal contests pitting dogs against wild boars.

“Not all traditions that we have are good,” Ade Sukalsah, a spokesman for provincial governor Ahmad Heryawan, said Tuesday. “If a tradition has a bad influence and impact on people’s lives, the tradition must be eliminated or forgotten.”

The practice began in the 1960’s, growing out of using dogs to hunt wild pigs.

Called “adu bagong,” or boar fights, by villagers, the events award cash prizes, and betting is rampant.

Owners of participating animals said they saw the fights as a way to preserve a regional tradition and hone the skills of hunting dogs.

Heryawan’s decision to halt the fights was based on Indonesian criminal law provisions against the torture of animals, Reuters reported.

The shows “have a negative impact on the community by showing cruelty, torture and violence against animals,” Sukalsah said.

It’s not clear how hard the government will come down on the practice, but Heryawan issued a circular to regional officials, urging police and the local community to help enforce the law.

Sukalsah said the decision was made in response to “some media reports from Reuters, the BBC and then some animal protection NGOs that sent letters to us.”

(Photo: A dog and wild boar fight during a contest in the Cikawao village of Majalaya, West Java province, Indonesia; by REUTERS/Beawiharta)

Nissan unveils a car (in concept) for dogs

It’s not being manufactured yet, but, if it were, there would probably be people lining up for this ultra dog-friendly Nissan.

The Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs, or Rogue as it’s known in the U.S., features dog bed, no-spill water bowl, automatic treat dispenser, clip on harness hooks, a slide out ramp, a shower and dryer and a two-way cam, allowing the driver in the front and the dog in the back to watch each other.

woof in advertisingThose last parts might be a bit much. (Not all dog tech, in our view, is good tech). But for the most part, these are some great ideas.

It’s all just a concept at this stage, developed by Nissan’s European division, Motor Trend reports.

And concepts, while they might get great mileage, won’t get you to the store.

Only of the concept car’s pet-specific features is currently available for purchase as a Nissan accessory: the dog guard above the rear seats.

Nissan-X-Trail-4DogsWhat’s the point of showing us a concept when the car’s not available?

For one thing, it helps create buzz and demand. For another, it lets us think such companies are thinking about us, even if it their project is mostly on the drawing board still. It also allows a company to show us a dream version, so vestiges of that image remain in our heads if and when the real one comes out.

Hopefully, the real thing — if it hits the market — will have a price some of us can actually afford, and will include something more than a $1,000 dog bowl. We’d suggest losing the automatic treat dispenser, too, and the dog-to-pilot cam and communication system.

It’s good to be able to keep an eye on your dog without fiddling with the rear view mirror. But do we really need to have our voices broadcast to them, all the way to the back seat? Do we really need to see them constantly on a 7-inch dashboard display?

And to they really need to see us, on a 10-inch LED screen in the cargo area?

It’s a little Big Brothery.

Nissan says the cargo area is meant to accommodate up to two dogs, but it looks to me like two large dogs would have to be crammed in. It’s even a little tight for a large and a medium.

All the doggie components were designed to be easily removed to free up cargo space for other items when the dog is not traveling with the family. The pet-friendly setup doesn’t interfere with accessing the vehicle’s spare tire, Nissan says.

The built-in shower and ramp are brilliant, and all in all a vehicle like this — at a reasonable price — could give Subaru a run for its money when it comes to the dog-friendliest cars.

So thanks for the video of what could be, Nissan, but don’t tease us. Get to work and give us the real deal.

(Woof in Advertising is a recurring ohmidog! feature that looks at how dogs are used in marketing. You can find earlier posts in this archived collection.)

Oh snap! Dog and turtle play some soccer

This mostly friendly game of soccer between a dog and a turtle gets a little rough at times — but then so does human soccer.

Valeria D’Innocenzo Carlantoni in Civitavechia, Italy, a small town near Rome, posted the video of her dog and an unusually speedy turtle on her Facebook page.

At the very end of it, the turtle, after having the ball taken away, appears to snap at the dog’s hind leg.

Where have we seen that before?

Dog sledding — as it’s meant to be

We may be down on the Iditarod, but that doesn’t mean we’re down on dog sledding.

As Greg Breining showed in yesterday’s New York Times, when it’s not an 1,100-mile endurance test dogs are forced to take part in, dog sledding can be an exhilarating experience.

“Dog sledding is an exercise in changed states, of chaos turning to order. One moment dogs were barking, yapping, whining, snarling, scrapping, jumping, biting and all the other things dogs do. The next moment they were straining at the gang line, and with a burst of acceleration, all turned silent but for the hiss of the runners on the snow …”

But it’s the breathtaking scenery one encounters while silently sliding through the wilderness that makes dog sledding a popular vacation choice.

“As we crested a small hill, the valley opened, and brilliant Pilot Peak burst into view in stark relief against a black snow cloud. ‘This is why I do this,’ Jason Matthews said, standing on the sled runner next to me. ‘This is why I’m out here.’

Matthews runs Yellowstone Dog Sled Adventures of Immigrant, Mont., one of many sled-dog outfitters running trips from Alaska to the Rockies to Maine. Matthews offers a range of trips — from his two-hour “sled-dog sampler” on a groomed, nearly level trail, to overnight cabin stays high in the mountains.

Other outfitters listed in the Times article are the Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge in Minnesota, and Mahoosuc Guide Service in Maine. Closer to Baltimore, dogsledding is offered at Husky Power Dog Sledding in western Maryland.

(Photo: courtesy of huskypowerdogsledding.com)

Vet, service dog kicked out of boat show

Workers in the employ of Renfro Productions — apparently unfamiliar with the concept of service dogs, and the federal laws that guarantee them access — kicked an epileptic veteran and his Labrador retriever out of Pepsi Coliseum last weekend.

Robin Davis and his 5-year-old Lab, “Doc,” who helps him cope with seizures, were first turned away from the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show at the gate.

They managed to get in through another door, but were stopped 30 minutes later, he says, by a woman who said she was with the Boat Show asked him and Doc to leave, according to WTHR-TV in Indianapolis.

Twenty minutes later, a third employee told him he and his dog weren’t welcome. Finally, Davis says he went to the office and talked to an employee for the show’s organizer, Renfro Productions. “She was sorry that I thought it was federal law that I could have my dog in there. That she didn’t care,” says Davis.

Renfro Productions issued this statement:

“The long standing policy of Renfro Productions has always been to allow service dogs of any kind into our consumer product shows, such as the Indianapolis Boat, Sport, and Travel show. Our company and our employees continually strive to provide the highest level of customer service and convenience to all of our patrons and exhibitors.”

Dogfighting on rise in Afghanistan

Dogfighting is experiencing a resurgence in Afghanistan, the New York Times reports.

Banned under the Taliban, who considered it un-Islamic, the “sport” has regained its earlier popularity since the Taliban’s ouster in 2001. Dogfighters line up weekly for informal tournaments on dusty lots in the country’s major cities.

In Kabul, there are two tournaments every week, both on Friday, the larger of which takes place in the morning at the bottom of a slope on the city’s outskirts and draws thousands.

Times reporter Kirk Semple describes a scene in which dozens of mastiff-like dogs, some of which required two men to restrain them, awaited their matches.

Some fights had been organized days in advance, with hundreds of dollars, sometimes thousands, riding on each, he reported.

“The event was presided over by a ringmaster, a toothless old man with a turban and a limp. He carried a wooden staff that he used to beat spectators who crowded the pitch and members of the dogfighters’ entourages who blocked the spectators’ view.”

The country’s elite frown upon the dogfighters, seeing them as uncultured and the criminal.

“In my personal view, it’s not a good thing,” said Ghulam Nabi Farahi, deputy minister of information and culture. “In today’s world, these animals should be treated well. But unfortunately, there’s a lot of fighting.”