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Indonesian city bans dog, cat meat trade after activists’ campaign

Indonesian city bans dog, cat meat trade after activists’ campaign

A city in Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province notorious for its extreme wildlife and domestic animal trade announced a ban on the sale of dogs and cats for human consumption.

Edwin Roring, the secretary of the Tomohon city administration on Friday announced the ban was permanent.

The animal market in the city of Tomohon has long attracted tourists and locals alike who seek exotic delicacies such as bats, snakes, rats, monkeys, dogs and cats.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation that is eating of the meat of all of these animals is forbidden in Islam.

North Sulawesi is predominantly Christian.

“Therefore, we expect the residents to stop selling dog and cat meat,” Roring said.

“Regarding the consumption of dogs and cats, we will gradually educate the residents.”

The ban is one of the first of its kind in Indonesia, a country where an estimated one million dogs and cats are killed for human consumption every year, mostly sourced from pet theft or strays.

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The move followed months of campaigning and lobbying by animal activists from Humane Society International (HSI), a global animal protection organisation, and the local group Animal Friends Manado Indonesia (AFMI).

Animal welfare campaigners said the trade not only causes immense animal suffering, but also poses serious threats to human health by spreading diseases such as rabies, anthrax and leptospirosis.

As part of the ban enforcement, activists rescued all the remaining live dogs and cats from the suppliers’ slaughterhouses, and transported them to a shelter where they received veterinary care and rehabilitation.