Cat and dog meat trade in the Indonesian market ended

Following a years-long campaign by local activists and global celebrities, authorities announced yesterday that a „brutal” slaughter of dog and cat meat at a notorious animal market on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi had come to an end.

Tomohon Extreme Market is Indonesia’s first dog- and cat-free market, according to Humane Society International (HSI), an anti-animal cruelty group.

Images of dogs and cats being mauled and blown up while still alive sparked outrage.

Photo: A.P

A permanent end to the slaughter and trade was announced yesterday by Domohon Mayor Carol Senduk.

HSI said all remaining dogs and cats will be rescued from slaughterhouse suppliers and taken to sanctuaries.

Tomohon Extreme Market has previously been touted as a tourist attraction and is listed on TripAdvisor as selling cat meat and the carcasses of wild and protected species such as bats, snakes and other reptiles.

HSI and Indonesian groups operating under the banner of Dog Meat Free Indonesia campaign to end the trade of live dogs for human consumption, as rabies can be transmitted to humans through contact with slaughtered or infected meat.

Videos shot by campaigners in two markets in North Sulawesi province in 2018 showed dogs barking in cages. Often still mobile, the animals are blasted with blowers to remove their hair in preparation for slaughter and sale.

Welfare groups say the treatment of animals in markets is „horribly cruel” and akin to „walking through hell”, drawing sympathy from Indonesians and the world.

In 2018 international actors and celebrities appealed to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to close the markets, saying that if Indonesia joined other Asian countries that have already banned the trade, it would be „celebrated globally” and end a stain on the country’s reputation.

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More than 90 celebrities are listed in the letter, including actress Cameron Diaz, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, talent spotter Simon Cowell, comedian Ricky Gervais, Indonesian pop singer Anghun and musician Mobi.

„These animals, many of them stolen pets, are subjected to crude and brutal methods of capture, transport and slaughter, and the great suffering and fear they must endure is heartbreaking and utterly shocking,” the letter said, adding that Indonesia’s central government does not consider dog meat to be food, so local administrations should take steps to ban the trade.

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