Indonesia police take action to combat the dog meat industry

28 September 2020

Last month, police in the Karanganyar region of central Java, Indonesia, took action to protect their communities by closing down three stalls that sell dog meat.

The move came after the Head of the Karanganyar regency, Mr Bapak Juliatmono, issued groundbreaking regulations prohibiting the sale of dog meat in his jurisdiction. He becomes the first leader to follow the Directive issued by the Central Indonesian Government to put an end to this cruel and dangerous trade.

Mr Juliatmono has been working with dog meat traders - who rely on the sale of dog meat for their and their families’ livelihoods - to transition to other forms of employment, and has pledged further actions to ensure his regency remains dog meat-free in the future.

The consumption of dog and cat meat in Indonesia and many other parts of Asia is still commonplace and dates back for thousands of years. It is traditionally thought to bring healing or medicinal properties and is considered a delicacy.

In recent years however, there has been widespread exposure of the practices involved in the industry, causing outrage and provoking pleas from local people, animal charities, celebrities and animal lovers across the world, for an end to the trade.

As well as the animal welfare implications, the dog meat trade has been associated with the spread of rabies. A disease that, although almost non-existent in companion animals in the west, is very much a real and terrifying fact of life for many people across Asia.

Data spanning decades suggests it is no coincidence that the provinces and regencies with the greatest demand for dog meat are also those with the highest prevalence of rabies, with devastating social, economic and animal welfare impacts.

So today on World Rabies Day, Animals Asia as members of the Dog Meat Free Indonesia Coalition, applauds Mr Juliatmono for his strong and progressive leadership in ensuring that the people of his community stay safe and that their dogs aren’t exploited or harmed for the pleasures of a minority of people who continue to choose to sell them or consume them.

READ MORE: Animals Asia becomes first NGO to join Rabies Prevention and Control Committee in China