Indonesian government supports ban on cat and dog meat

Photo: Dog Meat-Free Indonesia
Photo: Dog Meat-Free Indonesia
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

At last. An Asian country has seen the light; has seen the commercial sense and decency in stopping the dog and cat meat trade, and that country is Indonesia.

Ironically the extensive cat and dog meat trade in Indonesia is already illegal! It has been for ages. It’s just that no one is enforcing the law.

However, pressure from a coalition partners: HSI, Four Paws, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Animal Friends Jogja and Change for Animals Foundation, to eradicate dog meat from the country has achieved success in obtaining the agreement of the government to ban both cat and dog meat. I suppose you can’t ban one without banning the other – thankfully.

The decision to ban dog and cat meat was not solely based on humane grounds – the dog and cat meat trade is appalling brutal in its treatment of these animals – but public health issues such as rabies and commercial issues such as the tourism trade and Indonesia’s international reputation play a major role is stopping the trade.

The coalition of partners call themselves “Dog Meat-Free Indonesia” (why leave out cats?). They had a meeting with Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture last weekend and elicited the government’s agreement to outlaw dog and cat meat.

The head of the coalition, Lola Webber, said:

“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….”

The big question I have now is whether the government will convert words into action. After all they have failed to enforce existing law protecting these animals. Why should they get off their bums and change their attitude now? Perhaps they will because of the heavy negative publicity surrounding cat and dog meat. The internet makes it an international campaign that gets noticed.

For a moment put aside the animal welfare issues and think politics and money. These are the prime motivators for change in Indonesia.

We are told that 12m tourists visit Indonesia annually and the country is preparing to host the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta. Westerners are more aware of the brutality of the cat and dog meat trade. They don’t like it and don’t like countries which condone it. Time to make a stand and stamp it out.

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