Kulon Progo, Indonesia (October 18, 2021) -
A dog meat trader in Indonesia was found guilty of breaking the law and sentenced to 10 months in prison and a fine of $ 10,000 USD (150 million RDI - 8,600 €) in connection with the very first lawsuits that will henceforth be brought in the fight against the dog meat trade in the country. The trader was arrested by Kulon Progo district police in May this year, carrying 78 dogs in the back of a truck. Only 62 dogs survived the ordeal. The dogs were trafficked from Garut in West Java via Kulon Progo and were taken to a slaughterhouse. The meat then recovered is used for human consumption throughout Central Java. The interception comes after years of campaigning by the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition, of which Humane Society International is a founding member. The coalition hopes the lawsuits will send a strong signal to traders across Indonesia that the dog meat trade is illegal and will be punished. DMFI is pushing for an explicit national ban on this brutal trade.
The dogs in this case had all been stolen from the streets. Companion dogs roam freely. Many still wore necklaces as they were strapped into the truck for transport; a grueling journey of over 10 hours. The trader was found guilty of having violated Article 89, paragraph 2, in conjunction with Article 46, paragraph 5, of Law N0. 41 of 2014, concerning animal husbandry and health because the truck illegally crossed provincial borders, without any record of the medical history or vaccination status of the animals.
The Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition has carried out numerous investigations since 2016, exposing the brutal reality of the trade in dogs for human consumption. Every month, tens of thousands of these dogs are abducted from the streets and illegally transported to many parts of Indonesia. Many die on this horrific journey from heat stroke, dehydration, or injuries inflicted during capture and transport. Those who survive are taken to slaughterhouses where they are beaten and impaled upside down to be bled while still conscious or beaten to death in public markets in parts of the country, at the sight of other terrified dogs. who are waiting their turn.
Bali-based Lola Webber, director of the End Dog Meat campaign for the member group of DMFI Humane Society International, welcomed the news: “This verdict sends a strong message to dog meat traders that this brutal trade is illegal and not will not be tolerated in Indonesia. Ultimately, we want to see a nationally enforced ban on the dog meat trade in Indonesia, but in the meantime, this lawsuit will also hopefully encourage authorities in other provinces to use existing laws at their disposal to crack down on dog meat traders who continue to operate in their jurisdictions. There is no excuse to tolerate this illegal cruelty or the dangers that trade poses to public health and safety.
Besides being unspeakably brutal, it's easy to see how this trade is the perfect breeding ground for the next serious public health disaster. Dogs are routinely slaughtered in public alongside all manner of wildlife and domesticated species in the markets of North Sulawesi. New pathogens could easily jump on humans if a dog trader was injured during the day's slaughter, if a local consumer ate contaminated dog meat purchased from a nearby stall, or if a tourist breathed in blood droplets. microscopic in crossing the markets. In the face of such a clear risk to public health and animal welfare, we hope this conviction will be the first in a long line of lawsuits. We cannot allow the dog meat trade to thrive across Asia if we hope to protect the public from future pandemics. "
What are the realities around the dog meat trade:
- Opinion polls show that only a small minority of the Indonesian population (4.5%) consume dog meat, and only a very small number of people involved in the trade consider dog meat to be their main source of income.
- Rabies is a serious concern in Indonesia, with only eight of 34 provinces declared rabies free. Cities in central Java, like Surakarta ("Solo"), where more than 13,700 dogs are slaughtered and sold to dozens of local restaurants every month! , are putting their rabies status at risk by allowing dogs with potentially sick and unknown vaccine status to be imported from surrounding provinces to supply dog meat, despite opinion polls showing only 3% of central Javans consume it.
- The illegal movement of large numbers of dogs of unknown medical status into densely populated areas contravenes rabies control recommendations made by leading human and animal health experts, including the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, as well as national disease prevention legislation.
- There are widely publicized reports linking the dog meat trade directly to rabies transmission in many parts of Asia where the dog meat trade is practiced, including Indonesia. Scientific reports have documented rabies positive dogs being sold and slaughtered in Indonesian markets, as well as in restaurants and slaughterhouses in China and Viet Nam.
- The theft of dogs for the meat trade is a serious problem in Indonesia. Dog Meat Free Indonesia interviewed many locals who described their terrifying ordeal with armed traders stealing their pets at night. Even though this clearly breaks the law, thefts are rarely taken seriously by law enforcement, so thieves go unpunished.
- Across Asia, opposition to the dog and cat meat trade is growing, with an ever-growing number of countries and territories (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand and two major cities in mainland China) banning the trade and slaughter, sale and consumption of dogs; and in Indonesia, regions and towns such as Karanganyar, Salatiga and Sukoharjo have already adopted explicit bans in their jurisdictions due to concerns for animal welfare and public health and safety.
- The Dog Meat Free Indonesia campaign received the support of a large number of celebrities around the world, including Indonesians as well as a letter from President Joko Widodo in 2018 calling for action to end the dog meat trade and cat in the country. These celebrities include Simon Cowell, Sophia Latjuba, Yeslin Wang, Nadia Mulya, Lawrence Enzela, Cameron Diaz, Chelsea Islan, Ellen DeGeneres and Pierce Brosnan.
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