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Jakarta Post

Dogs should be off the menu, say animal lovers

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Fri, May 9, 2014   /  09:03 am
Dogs should be off the menu, say animal lovers Keep your paws off: Animal lovers stage a demonstration in Malioboro, Yogyakarta on Wednesday to protest against the slaughter of dogs. Canine meat is considered a popular delicacy, especially among Batak and Manadonese ethnic groups. (JP/Bambang Muryanto) (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Keep your paws off: Animal lovers stage a demonstration in Malioboro, Yogyakarta on Wednesday to protest against the slaughter of dogs. Canine meat is considered a popular delicacy, especially among Batak and Manadonese ethnic groups. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Dozens of activists from four animal rights organizations staged a rally in Yogyakarta on Thursday, calling on people to stop consuming dog meat as it was inhumane because dogs were pets, not livestock.

Dog meat is consumed by people across the archipelago, including in Medan, North Sumatra; Jakarta; Bandung, West Java; Yogyakarta; Surakarta, Central Java; Bali; and Manado, North Sulawesi.

'€œThe way dogs are caught, stolen, transported, locked up and slaughtered brutally and unhealthily is against Law No. 18/2009 on husbandry and animal health,'€ Dessy Zahara Angelina Pane of Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ) said on the sidelines of the rally on Thursday,

In Manado and Medan, where dog meat is considered a delicious dish, around 1,800 dogs were killed every week, she said.

'€œIn Yogyakarta alone, some 360 dogs are killed every week for meat, while around 720 dogs are killed in Jakarta,'€ Dessy went on.

'€œIn total, 224,640 dogs are killed annually in the four cities [of Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Manado and Medan].'€

Quoting the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), Dessy said consuming dog meat was morbid as dogs were pets that should not be consumed by human beings.

Transporting dogs from out of town for consumption could also spread rabies, especially as many dogs in Asia have rabies and other diseases.

In Yogyakarta, for example, dogs mostly come from Pangandaran, West Java, with 120 dogs transported to Yogyakarta every week.

Four organizations '€” the AFJ, Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN), Garda Satwa Indonesia (GSI) and the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) '€” participated in the rally.

Together with members of Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) bicycle community and the Shaggy Dog band, the activists rode on bicycles from Patehan to the governor'€™s office in Kepatihan.

After being greeted by provincial administration officials they continued their rally to the Malioboro area, calling on the community to stop consuming dog meat.

Muslimin Setiawarga of JAAN said he had come to Yogyakarta from Jakarta by bicycle with three other JAAN activists, while conducting a campaign against dog consumption along the way.

'€œWe deliberately chose the southern route because dog meat supply in Yogyakarta mostly comes from the southern regions,'€ Muslimin said.

Dishes including dog meat, such as rica-rica (a spicy dish) and tongseng (a curry-like soup), are mostly sold in food stalls along streets in the big cities. Some believe that consuming dog meat is good for stamina.

Meanwhile, Yogyakarta'€™s provincial assistant secretary overseeing the economy and development Didik Purwadi, said the provincial administration had been studying a regulation to control meat consumption, including dog meat.

'€œWe agree that dogs are not livestock that can be consumed,'€ he said.

Provincial Agriculture Agency animal and people health section head Anung Endah Swasti said efforts to limit the entrance of dogs from outside the province had been carried out via examination posts located on the borders of Yogyakarta and other regions.