Breaking! Animal Welfare Coalition Revels In Milestone Moment As Indonesian Government Agrees To Ban Barbaric Dog & Cat Meat Trade

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Photos from Dog Meat Free Indonesia

With an estimated 1,200 dogs being slaughtered and consumed every day by people in Surakarta, Central Java, it is especially positive news that the Indonesian government has finally agreed to ban the dog and cat meat trade. The landmark decision was made during the “National Coordination of Animal Welfare” which took place in Jakarta at the beginning of the month.

Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI), which had a coalition in attendance, explained that the major breakthrough came when at the close of the meeting, all national participants agreed to issue a ban on the trade of dog and cat meat in Indonesia and to prohibit the issuance of health certification for dog and cat meat for human consumption.

The DMFI coalition, comprised of Animal Friends Jogja, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Change For Animals Foundation, Humane Society International and Four Paws, has long exposed the suffering of the dog and cat meat trade through shocking nationwide investigations in which animals were filmed being bludgeoned to death and blowtorched alive. The group has also revealed the routine theft of pet dogs and the rabies risk the trade poses to locals and tourists alike.

This agreement comes just days after campaigners from the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition issued a public warning that millions of global tourists could be at risk of exposure to the deadly rabies virus spread by the county’s illegal dog and cat meat trade, and just two weeks before the country hosts the 18th Asian Games, when some three million tourists are expected to visit the capital city of Jakarta.

In January, the DMFI also coordinated a letter to President Joko Widodo calling for urgent action that was signed by over 90 national and international celebrities including: Cameron Diaz, Chelsea Islan, Dame Jane Goodall, Sophia Latjuba, Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres. DMFI’s global petition has also been signed by over 930,000 people from around the world.

“The extreme cruelty of Indonesia’s dog and cat meat trades is intolerable under both Indonesia and international animal welfare standards, and the government is right to be concerned about the impacts of these trades on its international reputation. With our growing awareness of animal sentience comes a greater responsibility to protect animals from cruelty,” Lola Webber, Director of Change For Animals Foundation said in a statement. “Customs evolve, and the nationwide movement from within Indonesia calling for an end to these trades is proof that Indonesia is ready to banish the dog meat trade to the history books of shame and illegality.”

“The dog and cat meat trade is utterly brutal, a risk to human health and largely fuelled by crime, so we applaud the Indonesian government for pledging to end the trade following our DMFI investigations,” noted Kitty Block, President of Humane Society International. “We hope that this bold step will send a strong message to other countries across Asia, such as China, South Korea, India and Vietnam, where 30 million dogs and 10 million cats suffer unimaginable cruelty for the meat trade, many of them stolen pets. We stand ready to work with the Indonesian authorities to implement a robust ban, end the slaughter, and bring us one step closer to shutting down these dreadful trades for good.”

The results of this national meeting will be used as a recommendation for the Ministry of Agriculture to formulate a PERMENTAN (Minister of Agriculture regulations) regarding the ban on trade in dog and cat meat, and that of exotic animals in Indonesia.

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