Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan join campaigners calling for Indonesia to close down its Live Animal Markets
As the coronavirus COVID-19 continues to cause global chaos, sickness and fatalities, Indonesia is reporting its first human infections. International and Indonesian celebrities have joined forces with campaigners from the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition to call on the Indonesian government to take action to close its cruel and filthy live animal markets to safeguard human and animal health and welfare.
“What is so shocking about this is that it’s the appetite of a few in South-East Asia that is now impacting on the whole world. The whole world is suffering financially and the whole world is suffering in terms of health. So, Indonesia, is it not time for you to close all of your extreme, unhealthy, shockingly brutal wet markets? Help your people, help the world to be healthy” – Peter Egan
On the 12th May, we launched our second wave of the campaign with support from some of Indonesia’s best-loved celebrities alongside our international ambassadors - Read the full press release here >>
Since January 2020, covid-19 has drastically affected all of our lives, and we sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are safe and in good health. The one thing that hasn’t changed during this time of uncertainty is that animals still need us. Never before has the issue of how we trade in and use and abuse animals been under such a global spotlight and NOW is the time for change!
What have we been doing to make change for animals since the pandemic started?
Since the world went on lockdown, we’ve been progressing plans to make sure the world never forgets where this virus came from or what must be done to make sure this never happens again. The best way to provide some justice to those who have been so terribly affected by this outbreak, and to the animals who have and continue to suffer, is by not going back to how things were!
In January, as a founding member of the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition we submitted a letter to the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, warning of the dangers of the live animal markets that continue to operate despite warnings from leading human and animal health experts; and called for urgent proactive and preventative measures to be taken to address these dangerous, cruel and illicit trade.
On the 5th March, along with our partners Animals Asia, FLIGHT and JAAN, we gathered outside the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, calling for ACTION! - Read more here >>
To continue to increase the pressure and vital public awareness, we launched a new public awareness campaign with the support of our wonderful campaign ambassador Ricky Gervais and CFAF’s patron, Peter Egan.
In a time of crisis, animals need us now more than ever
Indonesian and international superstars and public figures Chelsea Islan, Dame Judi Dench, Andovi Dalopez, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Sechan, Peter Egan, Davina Veronica, Rick Wakeman, Annabella, Joanna Lumley, Melanie Subono, Lesley Nicol and Cantika have joined us, the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition, in our campaign calling on President Jokowi to close down the nation’s infamous live animal markets and dog and cat meat trades to prevent future pandemics and safeguard animal welfare!
As a member of the Asia For Animals Coalition, we've written to the President of China, urging him to provide leadership in banning the wildlife trade, as well as to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations and the Office International Epizoologie (OIE), calling on them to introduce and enforce legislation to close wild animal markets globally. We also issued a joint statement addressing the incorrect reports that companion animals could spread Covid-19, something that resulted in a surge of pet abandonments as well as cruel knee-jerk measures to dispose of animals - Read more here >>
As a founding member of the Asia Canine Protection Alliance (ACPA), we have submitted letters to the governments of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, warning of the health and safety risks of their dog and cat meat trades, outlining evidence spanning decades of the link between these trades and zoonotic diseases, calling for immediate actions to end these illegal trades.
And we're starting to see the wheels of change in motion
On the 24th February, China announced a ban on buying and selling wild animals for food; and on the 25th April, Beijing passed a new regulation stipulating that the city will completely ban the illegal consumption and trafficking of all wildlife and enforce harsh punishments on violators, effective June 1.
On the 20th May, Wuhan followed suit, announcing a city-wide ban on the trading, consumption and hunting of all wildlife; and said the local administration would take part in the wider national scheme that was announced with plans to buyout wild animal breeders, in an effort to reduce the consumption of wild animals. This is a first-of-its-kind nationwide scheme in China, and two central provinces – Hunan and Jiangxi, where the majority of wildlife farming takes place – have already outlined details of a buyout program to help farmers switch to alternative livelihoods, such as growing fruits, vegetables, tea plants and herbs.
In Vietnam, on the 9th March, Vietnam’s Prime Minister ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to submit a Directive for a ban on the wildlife trade and on the 24th July, Vietnam banned the import of wildlife and wildlife products, as well as the markets that sell them, including online, to reduce the risk of new pandemics. The authorities have also stated that they are continuing to discourage dog and cat meat consumption during this crisis.
Dog and cat meat trade
On the 2nd of April, Shenzhen, China’s 5th largest city, announced a historic comprehensive and permanent ban on the consumption of dogs and cats as well as wild animals, making it the first city in China to permanently ban the dog and cat meat trades.
On 15th April, the Chinese city of Zhuhai became the second city to permanently ban the dog and cat meat trades. Both Shenzhen’s and Zhuhai’s regulations came into force in May 2020.
There was a major breakthrough on the 29th May when China’s new National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources was announced and dogs were no longer included on the list of livestock and are now classed as companion animals. The protection also extends to cats who are not and have never been on the Catalogue of Livestock, reflecting their status as a companion animal too.
On the 3rd July, the Indian state of Nagaland announced a ban on the import, trade and sale of dog meat., marking the end of a horrific trade that resulted in the most shocking cruelty to an estimated 30,000 dogs every year.
Less than a week later, on the 8th July, the government of the world-renowned city of Siem Reap in Cambodia issued an official ban of the dog meat trade in accordance with their Animal Health Law, setting a precedent for the rest of Cambodia to follow. Millions of dogs will now be protected from a trade that involved the most brutal forms of transport and slaughter.
Dr. Fauci – a lead member of the United States’ White House coronavirus task force – added his voice for the closure of all wildlife markets.
Calls for Action
Join us in urging governments to end live animal markets!
We now all know that live animal markets are cruel, profit-driven places that contribute to the spread of novel and dangerous pathogens like Covid-19. Now the world is watching, and now is the time to take a stand to close down these soulless places that subject animals to such cruelty, decimate wildlife populations, and threaten all of our health and safety.
You can be a part of the solution that helps this crisis from ever happening again.
Please send an email to the embassies of China, Indonesia and Vietnam, urging them to close down their wildlife, dog and cat markets urgently! Embassy contact details here >>
CFAF has learned that the Chinese Government published a paper on 4th of March, promoting a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment for Covid-19 that contains bear bile. Please write to the Chinese Embassy where you are, asking them to take the opportunity follow their own example in banning the wildlife trade by also banning bear bile and all wildlife used for medicine.
Sign the petition to the Provincial and Central Governments of Indonesia calling on them to end the trade in dogs and cats and other animals to live markets throughout Indonesia.
We will come out of this stronger and you have our word that we’ll continue to lobby and campaign tirelessly to fight against the inhumane production, trade, sale and slaughter of animals.
Our mission has always been to make change where possible and fight for change where it seems impossible, and we will never stop that fight!