Campaigners Decry Governor Dondokambey’s “Outrageous Denial” of Animal Cruelty and Human Rabies Threat at Sulawesi Extreme Markets Following Video Exposé
31st January 2018
JAKARTA (30th January) -- Governor Olly Dondokambey has been urged by campaigners from the Dog Meat Free-Indonesia Coalition – founded by Change For Animals Foundation, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Humane Society International and Animal Friends Jogja – to take more seriously national and international concerns about animal suffering and threats to human health from “traditional markets” in North Sulawesi such as “Tomohon Extreme Market” where thousands of dogs and cats are brutally killed for human consumption.
In a letter to the Governor dated 29th January, the DMFI rejects his recent disappointing response to their investigation in which he states that: “I don’t feel there’s [any cruelty]. The market is called ‘Extreme Market’ because they sell meat from extreme animals like snakes, dogs, bats, and rats, which are unconventional. But the way they are butchered is neither cruel nor careless”.
These comments are wholly inadequate not only in the face of obscene animal cruelty but also show a lack of regard for the health and safety of the Indonesian people due to the risk of rabies transmission that is posed by the dog meat trade.
The DMFI coalition robustly rejects Governor Dondokambey’s comments, and Lola Webber, co-founder of Change For Animals Foundation and DMFI co-ordinator, states: “Given the extremely grave nature of the animal cruelty we filmed over a long period, and the shockingly unsanitary slaughter process, we are appalled by Governor Dondokambey’s apparent lack of concern for either animals or people. The risk of rabies-transmission posed by the dog meat trade is very well established, and at these markets we see dogs of unknown disease-status being transported in from other provinces in clear breach of the law, not to mention the horrific cruelty these animals endure. The Governor needs to consider these issues more seriously, and we would invite him to view the footage in person with us so that we can discuss our concerns.”
The letter sent by the DMFI coalition reads: “Whilst you may choose to defend these practices of “extreme meat” consumption as local “custom” to the Minahasa people, we and people across Indonesia and the world cannot agree with you. These are acts of cruelty that are outlawed in every developed country with robust animal protection laws, and it is to Indonesia’s shame if this shocking situation is not taken more seriously… The response you have given thus far is not only inadequate in face of such obscene animal cruelty, but also shows a lack of regard for the health and safety of the Indonesian people. Considering the clear risk that the dog meat trade poses to public health in terms of the transmission of lethal rabies and other diseases, and the fact that the market trade is almost entirely facilitated by the trans-provincial transport of dogs that breaks Indonesia’s own disease control and prevention laws, it is incumbent on you as a public official to give the matter more serious and thorough consideration.”