Jakarta’s a man-eat-dog city. Literally.
While many Jakartans would be outraged at the thought of people consuming dog meat, the fact remains that demand for dog meat in the capital is still high.
According to this Tempo article, 40 dogs are slaughtered each day in Sukabumi, West Java, and then imported for consumption in Jakarta. That, along with Surakarta in Central Java, is currently the largest amount of dog meat consumed in a city in Indonesia.
Jakarta Vice Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat spoke of the need to regulate dog meat in the city to prevent health issues, particularly the spread of rabies to humans, from the consumption of dog meat. Rabies, after all, is endemic among dogs in Sukabumi. Jakarta, on the other hand, has been declared rabies-free since 2004.
“So we won’t just be monitoring beef, lamb, chicken and pork,” Djarot said yesterday.
Slaughtering dogs for consumption isn’t actually illegal in Indonesia. Sri Hartati, head of the Husbandry and Animal Health Department at the Jakarta Marine and Agriculture Agency, conceded that the government can’t prohibit the consumption of dog meat as long as certain groups still demand it. The only thing they can do at this point is make sure dog meat coming into Jakarta is safe for consumption.
“The agency is working on the supervision and regulation of the consumption of dog meat,” Sri said.
Doni Herdaru Tona, the founder of the Animal Defenders community, said some people traditionally eat dogs because of unfounded myths that dog meat is good for one’s health. On the contrary, dog meat can actually be very harmful for humans as dog slaughterhouses are often unmonitored for hygiene and diseases.
“It’s about time the spread of dog meat is prohibited,” Doni said.
Just how bad are these dog slaughterhouses anyway? Well, this video by the Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) and Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ) highlights just how brutal and unsanitary conditions can be in these places where innocent dogs are killed for food:
(WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES OF ANIMAL CRUELTY OF THE MOST EXTREME NATURE POSSIBLE)
If you want to see an end to the distribution of dog meat in Indonesia, you can support JAAN’s ‘Dogs are not food’ campaign and/or sign this petition urging state and regional governments to make dogs illegal for consumption. If dogs are no longer killed for food, it should go some way towards completely eradicating rabies in the country, and our city would hopefully remain rabies-free forever.
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