There are growing concerns for animal welfare throughout Indonesia and there is increasing awareness that the trade is incompatible with efforts to control and eliminate rabies - a deadly disease that has a devastating impact on human and animal health.
Throughout the world, dogs are Mankind’s most loyal companions, bringing us joy, cherished as "therapists" in schools and in hospitals and homes for the young and elderly, and serving in our police forces and armies. As pet ownership rises rapidly in Indonesia – and globally – it is a duty to ensure they are adequately protected from cruelty, and to be recognised – and respected – as companion animals.
Some of Indonesia’s biggest stars, including Chelsea Islan, Andovi Dalopez and Sarah Sechan, feature alongside international celebrities Dame Judi Dench, Ricky Gervais, Joanna Lumley, Peter Egan, Rick Wakeman, and Lesley Nicol, in a video plea to President Jokowi to close down the country’s notoriously cruel and unsanitary live animal markets and dog and cat meat trades in the wake of Indonesia’s soaring COVID-19 crisis.
As the coronavirus COVID-19 continues to cause global chaos, sickness and fatalities, and Indonesia reports its first human infections, international and Indonesian celebrities join 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.
The Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition has issued the open letter below to the President of Indonesia calling for urgent and proactive measures to make sure Indonesia is not the next point of origin of a deadly virus. We urge the President to prioritise the health and well-being of the overwhelming majority of the Indonesian population, rather than the preferences and profitability of a few, at the expense of animal welfare and national and global interests.