It’s just a little over one month until the Asian Games begins on August 18, as well as the Eid al-Adha holiday on August 22. With Jakarta acting as one of the host cities for the enormous sporting event (along with Palembang) the capital’s government is enacting numerous regulations to accommodate the needs of the games, including a prohibition on the sale as well as the slaughter of sacrificial animals (an essential component of Eid al-Adha radition) in certain areas of East Jakarta near one of the games’ venues.
The prohibition is not aimed at shielding visitors to the city with delicate sensibilities from seeing the Islamic tradition take place, nor is it related to the human health concerns that have led to similar bans on the public sale and slaughter of sacrificial animals in the past (bans that were criticized by some as being anti-Islamic).
Instead, the regulation from Jakarta’s Food, Maritime and Agriculture Agency (KPKP) is aimed at protecting the health of the horses that will be competing in the Asian Games.
“We prohibit the slaughter and shelter of sacrificial animals that are within 1 kilometer of the Pulomas Racetrack, which is one of the venues of the Asian Games. These are the instructions of the governor,” said East Jakarta KPKA Head of Animal Husbandry and Health Irma Budiany as quoted by Tempo yesterday.
The ban will affect mosques located in Kayu Putih Village, Rawamangun, Pulogadung, West Kelapa Gading Barat and East Kelapa Gading.
Irma said the ban was aimed at preventing race horses competing in the games from contracting animal-borne illnesses such as anthrax.
She added that those affected by the ban would be able to use PD Dharma Jaya’s Cattle Processing Facility as an alternative location. KPKA is set to socialize the ban to the affected communities tomorrow.
Jakarta Vice Governor Sandiaga Uno explained that the government had to enact the temporary policy in order for the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) to receive an equine disease-free zone certificate from the World Organisation for Animal Health, a requirement for Asian Games events involving horses.
Former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama enacted a ban on the sale and slaughter of sacrificial animals around streets and schools during his time in office for reasons of public order and hygiene. A critic of that policy, current Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan rolled back Ahok’s ban when he took office, one of many moves aimed at satisfying the conservative Islamic voter base that won him the election.