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Coalition calls for new law on animal welfare

INDONESIA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) -- A coalition of animal rights activists has called on the House of Representatives to draft a law that would promote animal welfare, as well as protect animals from cruelty.
The Indonesian Coalition for Animal Protection (KPH Indonesia) said there was fresh urgency for the passing of new legislation that could guarantee the protection of animal rights given the rising number of animal-abuse cases in the country. “It is time for Indonesia as a civilised nation to restore its humanity, which has long been compromised by cases of appalling treatment of animals. Poor treatment of animals could in fact be the predictor of our characters,” cofounder of KPH Indonesia, Cindy Kartika Sari, said during a meeting with House deputy speaker Muhaimin Iskandar late last week.
Fellow animal rights activist Chandra Kurniawan said the prevailing legislation, the Animal Husbandry and Animal Welfare Law, was outdated and lacked stipulations that could protect animal rights.
Chandra added that law enforcement officials had also been reluctant to enforce existing regulations on animal welfare. “Law enforcement personnel only use obsolete regulations from the Criminal Code, which only impose a three-month jail term or a Rp 3,000 [20 US cents] fine. But most of the time, officials turn a blind eye on animal cruelty,” Chandra of the IABF law firm said. Responding to the demand, Muhaimin called on the government to step up its efforts to protect animal rights.
“Both the local and central governments need to step up their efforts to improve animal welfare, whether they are domesticated or wild animals,” Muhaimin said. The National Awakening Politician (PKB) politician also said that new legislation on animal welfare would take time for the government and lawmakers to prepare. “For the time being, the government could start working to improve existing government regulations,” Muhaimin said. He called on the government to take swift action on some animal abuses that are prevalent in the community like the sale and distribution of dog meat.
In 2018, the government agreed to issue a regulation banning the trade in dog meat amid concerns over the spread of rabies and animal abuse following a series of campaigns against the consumption of dog meat in the country.
The pledge was made during a two-day meeting on the “National Coordination of Animal Welfare”, which was attended by government representatives from the Agriculture Ministry and NGOs.

(Latest Update December 24, 2021)

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