United Voice for Animal Welfare Law Reform
Participants in Indonesia’s inaugural Workshop to Strengthen Animal Welfare Laws overwhelmingly supported the urgent need to update old laws against animal cruelty, increase penalties for offenders and ensure diligent enforcement of laws to protect Indonesia’s animals.
18th March 2014
In Jakarta, leading Indonesian animal welfare groups, policymakers, clerics, government agencies, academics, vets and students today called for reform of national animal welfare laws.
Workshop presentations, some extremely graphic, showed damming evidence of the shocking dog meat trade, organised blood sports such as Pit Bull fighting, dancing monkey cruelty, the illegal trade in wildlife, inhumane animal markets, and other cruelty against the nation’s wild and domestic animals.
Participants urged application of harsher penalties against offenders and spoke out on the need for awareness and commitment among law enforcement agencies. Lively discussions and debates from early morning until late evening demonstrated the growing passion for animal welfare by all participants.
Some of the specialist presenters at the workshop included Legislative (DPR) representative Cyril Raoul Hakim, veterinary specialist and founder of the Center for Indonesian Veterinary Analytical Studies (CIVAS) Tri Satya Naipospos, drh. M.Phil, PhD of CIVAS; and legal specialist Simplexius Asa, SH. MH.
Bapak Simplexius Asa has worked with the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) to identify Indonesia’s animal welfare laws and advise on which laws apply to which crimes against animals.
“Through research and legal advice we identified 8 key Articles which address Animal Welfare Law under the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP),” said BAWA executive manager I Gusti Ngurah Bagus. “Other Criminal Laws and Animal Health Laws also may be applied to animal welfare,” he said.
Some of the key presentations of the day included: The Importance of Animal Welfare from a One Health perspective by Tri Satya Naipospos, Veterinary Specialist at CIVAS, and Change for Animals Foundation’s Lola Webber presented "Collaborative efforts to end the dog meat trade and eliminate rabies".
A key session on Law Enforcement for Animal Welfare was presented by Jakarta Animal Aid Network's Benvika, and Progress reports on revisions to Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP) were presented by Bapak Simplexius Asa and Bapak Cyril Raoul Hakim of the DPR.
Indonesia's top Muslim clerical body the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) was represented by H Hayu Prabowo who spoke on the ground-breaking fatwa (religious edict) that was recently issued against illegal wildlife trafficking which the council has declared haram (forbidden).
A leading Balinese priest, Ida Pedanda Tianyar Sebali Arimbawa, who is the president of the Hindu Dharma association (PHDI) spoke about the need for traditional customary laws to support animal welfare. "Ahimsa (non violence) is a key component in the Hindu religion,” he said.
A prominent Buddhist teacher Wira Wijaya was also present and spoke about Buddhist principles of caring for all creations as one under God.
A leading representative Pak Luky A. from the national police supported cause for action and how all sectors (Ngos, Police, Animal husbandry and vets) must work together for a united cause.