If last week’s viral videos showing visitors at Taman Safari in Bogor tricking animals into drinking alcohol show the lack of sympathy some Indonesians have towards animals, the potential punishments for these people highlight the failure of existing laws in Indonesia to act as a deterrent against animal abuse.
The Bogor Police have questioned four people in relation to the incident, of which two were strongly suspected of being directly responsible for animal abuse by giving alcohol to unsuspecting animals.
Bogor Police Chief Andi Muhammad Dicky Pastika said the police will charge the two with animal abuse in accordance to Article 302 of the KUHP (Criminal Code).
“It’s a light criminal violation, (punishable with) three months in prison,” he said, as quoted by Viva.
If found guilty under this charge, the suspects would also have to pay a minuscule fine of IDR4,500 (US$0.33), which would have been plenty in the colonial days (the KUHP was originally drawn up during the Dutch colonial era) but would only barely get you a bottle of water these days.
Indeed, there have been numerous attempts by activists to introduce harsher punishments against animal abuse (such as this Change.org online petition from five years ago), but animal welfare is evidently not high on the list of priorities for Indonesian lawmakers.
The two suspects, identified by their initials PB and AD, have both apologized to the public for their misdemeanor.
“We regret very much that we have done this stupid thing,” PB said, as quoted by Kumparan yesterday.
While the criminal charges against them might be considered relatively light, PB said he’s had to contend with threats on social media.
“There have been threats, like death threats, on my Instagram,” he said.
The Bogor Police have urged PB to report any such threat to the authorities.