Indonesian region pledges to end dog meat trade

It's easy to forget where your food comes from until you're reminded of it. But for those in Indonesia, it's very visible.

The regency of Karanganyar in Java has pledged to stop killing dogs for food after a Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) investigation. DMFI is a group of animal protection organisations, similar to the Change For Animals Foundation and Humane Society International.

alt Credit: Dog Meat Free Indonesia

When DMFI found several dogs being hit and burned alive in markets, the regency agreed to shut these stalls down. This will save the lives of up to 2,000 dogs every month.

After the closing of market stalls that sell dog meat, the government will also help those whose livelihoods are affected by the change. Government officials will meet with dog traders, and sellers to explore other job options.

alt Credit: Dog Meat Free Indonesia

The sale and consumption of dog meat raises a variety of dangers that negatively affect public health, including increasing rabies rates.

Rabies affects the central nervous system and can lead to death. Around the world, 55,000 people die from rabies every year. Half of those deaths are in Asia, and there's a higher correlation of rabies in areas which frequently consume dog meat.

alt Credit: Dog Meat Free Indonesia

Even though only seven per cent of Indonesia eats dog meat, this pledge is a step in the right direction. Especially when other government officials - like Olly Dondokambey, the governor of North Sulawesi - refuses to follow in these footsteps.

In the province of North Sulawesi, around 200 cat and dog meat trading markets are held every day.

alt Credit: Dog Meat Free Indonesia

Wendy Higgins from Humane Society International issued the following statement on Indonesian dog meat trading:

"Visiting local markets is often promoted by tour guides but innocent travelers could be exposing themselves to horrific scenes of animal cruelty as well as dangerous diseases like rabies. The national government has issued a crackdown but for as long as local regions like North Sulawesi simply ignore that, the killing and the risk to tourists continues."

If you're interested in helping end the market for dog meat trading and sale in Indonesia, you can sign the DMFI petition here.