Indonesian Government Pledges To Ban Dog And Cat Meat Trade

by : Emily Brown on : 07 Aug 2018 10:41

Warning: Distressing Content

Dogs looking out from a cage at the market on June 20, 2014 in Yulin, China.Dogs looking out from a cage at the market on June 20, 2014 in Yulin, China.Getty

A fantastic step has been taken as the Indonesian government has pledged to ban the trade of cat and dog meat. 

The sale and consumption of cat and dog meat is a huge issue across Asia.

Between China, South Korea, India and Vietnam, it is estimated that 30 million dogs and 10 million cats suffer annually for the dog meat trade.

Festivals such as Yulin, an annual dog meat festival where it is estimated up to 5,000 dogs are eaten, add to the huge amounts of canines tortured and eaten every year.


Protests against the trade are in full force, and it is an ongoing effort to raise awareness and prevent both cats and dogs from being stolen and sold as food.

dogs in cagesdogs in cagesGetty

The Director of International Media at Humane Society International (HSI) UK, and member of Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) Wendy Higgins, explained that the importance of tourism in Indonesia means the nation is sensitive to global criticism.

Emphasising this fact has helped to encourage long-term changes in the dog meat trade.

Higgins said:

It’s important for us to galvanise international calls for change and to express that to the authorities, and we do that as part of the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition which also includes local Indonesian groups.

Supporting local groups on the ground and adding weight to their efforts is one of the ways that HSI works in many different countries, and it’s often the most effective route to change.

Fantastically, DMFI activists have been hard at work, and the Indonesian government has pledged to ban the cat and dog meat trade.


The declaration was decided on August 1 and 2, when DMFI members attended a National Coordination of Animal Welfare meeting held by the Directorate of Veterinary Public in Jakarta.

Cats Are Being Butchered At Yulin Meat Festival TooCats Are Being Butchered At Yulin Meat Festival TooHumane Society International

The HSI released a statement about the good news.

It read:

Campaigners with the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition are celebrating a major breakthrough in their efforts to end the brutally cruel dog and cat meat trades, following a national government pledge to ban the trades.

The DMFI comprising local and international groups have exposed the suffering of the dog and cat meat trade through shocking nationwide investigations where dogs and cats were filmed being bludgeoned to death and blow-torched alive, as well as exposed the routine theft of pet dogs and the rabies risk the trade poses to locals and tourists alike.

The press release continued:

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.

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.

The ban will see Indonesia join Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore in having laws in place to prohibit the dog meat trade.

The HSI and DMFI hope this breakthrough will send a strong message to other countries across Asia, and encourage more positive change.

DMFI are looking forward to working with the Indonesian government on implementing the ban.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals


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