Sick and pregnant: Rescued canines shine spotlight on fight to end dog meat trade in Indonesia

One female dog was already dead when authorities raided the truck.

“You’d wonder when was the last time these dogs had eaten. I’ve never seen dogs so emaciated. Honestly, I can’t believe that she was the only one (that died) because the condition on that truck was so horrific,” she said.

Dog meat is consumed in some parts of the country where people believe that it has medicinal properties – which has never been scientifically proven. 

In some places like Central Java, where the majority of the population are Muslims who viewed dog meat as “haram” or forbidden, dog meat consumption is viewed as a tradition.  

Dog Meat Free Indonesia Coalition estimated that at least 1 million dogs are killed each year for consumption in Indonesia.  

However, there have been growing calls for such practices to end. A survey conducted by the coalition, released in August 2021, suggested that 93 per cent of Indonesians supported the ban on the dog meat trade.

Fear of health effects, concerns for animal welfare or cruelty and dogs being “haram” were among the reasons given.  


Mariana Ferdinandez, a veterinarian with the Jakarta Animal Aid Network who also participated in the Sukoharjo raid, suspected that the same truck had made a number of stops, dropping off dogs to various slaughterhouses and restaurants along the way to the Central Java regency.

“Based on our investigation, a truck like that can easily carry between 200 and 250 dogs,” she told CNA.

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