A dog meat trader in Indonesia has been sentenced to a 10-months jail term and 150 million IDR fine – about £7,200 – in the country’s first ever prosecution against the trade.
The trader was caught by Kulon Progo District Police in May this year, transporting 78 dogs for slaughter in the back of a truck. Many of the dogs – of whom only 62 survived – were found to be stolen pets.
The decision to prosecute the trader was a first in the country, and the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition “hopes this prosecution will send a strong signal to traders across Indonesia that the dog meat business is illegal and will be punished”.
The trader was found guilty of violating 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, with no record of the animals’ disease or vaccination status.
Lola Webber, who is End Dog Meat campaign director for DMFI member group Humane Society International (HSI), said, “This verdict sends a strong message that this brutal trade is illegal and won’t be tolerated in Indonesia.
“Ultimately we want to see an enforced nationwide ban on Indonesia’s dog meat trade, but in the meantime this prosecution will also hopefully encourage the 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 for tolerating this illegal cruelty or the dangers the trade pose to public health and safety.”
This trade, Webber added, is also the “perfect breeding ground for the next serious public health disaster“.
She said, “Dogs are routinely slaughtered in public alongside all manner of wild and domestic species in markets in North Sulawesi.
“New pathogens could easily jump to humans if a dog trader was wounded during the day’s slaughter, a local consumer ate cross-contaminated dog meat bought at a nearby stall, or a tourist breathed in microscopic blood droplets as they sight-see the markets.
“In the face of such an obvious public health and animal welfare risk, we hope this will be the first of many prosecutions. We cannot allow the dog meat trade to thrive across Asia if we hope to protect the public from future pandemics.”
Images by HSI