INDONESIA: A total of 226 dogs were saved from the clutches of an alleged animal cruelty operation when a compassionate community of animal advocates intercepted a truck transporting these animals.
The incident occurred at the Kalikangkung Toll Gate in Semarang, Central Java, on Saturday night (6th Jan).
The effort involved collaboration between Animals Hope Shelter Indonesia, the police, and vigilant citizens.
Animals Hope Shelter Indonesia documented the rescue mission on their Instagram account (@animals_hopeshelterindonesia), which triggered an outpouring of responses from concerned individuals.
Among hundreds of comments, a netizen wrote, “Hopefully, dog eaters will soon realize, look into their eyes, it’s heartbreaking.”
“Stop eating dogs, they are not food,” a comment urged.
One of the netizens went a step further by tagging potential presidential and vice-presidential candidates, imploring them to address such critical issues.
“To the esteemed presidential candidates, I remain undecided for now. However, I pledge my support to those with comprehensive plans to eradicate and impose stringent penalties on individuals involved in the sale, slaughter, and abuse of dogs, cats, and other animals.”
Deplorable conditions unveiled
A grim discovery was made regarding 226 dogs, believed to be destined for slaughter and consumption, as they were found in deplorable conditions within a truck.
The truck was later brought to the Semarang City Police Headquarters and secured.
Upon opening the cargo area of the truck, a distressing scene unfolded: the dogs were crammed into sacks, tightly bound with ropes, some suspended from poles and others strewn across the truck floor.
Shockingly, these animals were still alive at the time of being rescued.
During transportation, the truck’s cargo area had been concealed with a black net.
After their rescue, the dogs were released from the sacks and provided with much-needed nourishment.
Christian Joshua Pale, the Chairman of Animals Hope Shelter Indonesia, revealed that these dogs were suspected to have been acquired from a collector in Sumedang, West Java.
“From Sumedang, they were transported to Central Java,” he stated at the Semarang City Police Headquarters on Saturday (6 Jan).
Upon arriving in Semarang, potential buyers were reportedly waiting on the roadside.
Pale explained the cruel method employed by the suspected perpetrators: “Why were their legs and mouths tied before being placed in sacks? To make it easier for them to be thrown from the high truck onto pickup trucks,” he lamented.
The dogs were allegedly sold at prices ranging from Rp 50,000 (approximately US$3.23) to Rp 250,000 (US$16), depending on their size.
Subsequently, the animals were transported to the Solo Raya region to be sold to vendors offering dog meat on their menus.
“They sell them to vendors who sell this dog meat menu for Rp 38,000 per kilogram, and now it has increased to Rp 40,000 per kilogram,” Pale disclosed.
Regarding the case, the Chief of Semarang City Police Resort, Police Commissioner (Kombes Pol) Irwan Anwar, confirmed that the police had apprehended five suspected perpetrators.
The truck used to transport the dogs was also seized.
“The alleged suspects will likely be charged under Law No. 41 of 2014 concerning animal husbandry and animal health,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Head of Public Relations of the Central Java Regional Police, Police Commissioner (Kombes Pol) Satake Bayu, explained that the operation was initiated based on reports of alleged animal cruelty.
Semarang City Government emphasized its ban on dog meat
In response to this shocking incident, the Semarang City Government emphasized its ban on the circulation of dog meat.
This prohibition is outlined in Regional Regulation (Perda) No. 2 of 2022, which addresses Food Security and explicitly prohibits the consumption of non-livestock meat, such as that of dogs and cats.
Continuing its commitment to enforcing the ban, the Semarang City Government is actively promoting awareness of the regulation.
Local authorities at the sub-district and district levels are urged to intensify awareness campaigns to eliminate the circulation of dog meat in the Central Java capital.
“We continue to promote awareness, including in sub-districts and districts, as the consumption of non-food meat is unsafe,” emphasized a city official.
11 dogs succumb before transition to a safer environment
The Semarang City Government took action to relocate the shelter housing these dogs to a more comfortable setting.
Mayor Hevearita Gunaryanti Rahayu on Monday (8 Jan) mentioned that the Semarang City Agriculture Service, under the supervision of Hernowo Budi Luhu, oversaw the evacuation of the dogs to the Genuk District area.
Unfortunately, due to the challenging conditions in the previous shelter—hot and stuffy—approximately 11 dogs had tragically passed away.
In response, the decision was made to relocate more than 200 dogs to provide them with a more suitable environment.
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