Posted on April 25, 2014

Participants in Indonesia’s inaugural Workshop to Strengthen Animal Welfare Laws overwhelmingly supported the urgent need to update old laws against animal cruelty, increase penalties for offenders and ensure diligent enforcement of laws to protect Indonesia’s animals.

 JAKARTA 18 March 2014 – Leading Indonesian animal welfare groups, policymakers, clerics, government agencies, academics, vets and students today called for reform of national animal welfare laws.

Workshop presentations, some extremely graphic, showed damming evidence of the shocking dog meat trade, organised blood sports such as Pit Bull fighting, dancing monkey cruelty, the illegal trade in wildlife, inhumane animal markets, and other cruelty against the nation’s wild and domestic animals.

Participants urged application of harsher penalties against offenders and spoke out on the need for awareness and commitment among law enforcement agencies. Lively discussions and debates from early morning until late evening demonstrated the growing passion for animal welfare by all participants.

Some of the specialist presenters at the workshop included Legislative (DPR) representative Cyril Raoul Hakim, veterinary specialist and founder of the Center for Indonesian Veterinary Analytical Studies (CIVAS) Tri Satya Naipospos, drh. M.Phil, PhD of CIVAS; and legal specialist Simplexius Asa, SH. MH.

Bapak Simplexius Asa has worked with the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) to identify Indonesia’s animal welfare laws and advise on which laws apply to which crimes against animals.

“Through research and legal advice we identified 8 key Articles which address Animal Welfare Law under the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP),” said BAWA executive manager I Gusti Ngurah Bagus.  Other Criminal Laws and Animal Health Laws also may be applied to animal welfare, he said.

Some of the key presentations of the day included:  The Importance of Animal Welfare from a One Health perspective by Tri Satya Naipospos, Veterinary Specialist at CIVAS.  Change for Animals Foundation Lola Webber presented “collaborative efforts to end the dog meat trade and eliminate rabies”.

A key session on Law Enforcement for Animal Welfare was presented by Jakarta Animal Aid Network’s Benvika. Progress reports on revisions to Indonesia’s Criminal Code (KUHP), were presented by Bapak Simplexius Asa and Bapak Cyril Raoul Hakim of the DPR.

Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) was represented by H Hayu Prabowo who spoke on the ground-breaking and recently issued fatwa (religious edict) against illegal wildlife trafficking which the council has declared haram (forbidden).

A leading Balinese priest, Ida Pedanda Tianyar Sebali Arimbawa, who is the president of the Hindu Dharma association (PHDI) spoke about the need for traditional customary laws to support animal welfare. “Ahimsa (non violence) is a key component in the Hindu religion”.

A prominent Buddhist teacher Wira Wijaya was also present and spoke about Buddhist principles of caring for all creation as one under God.

A leading representative Pak Luky A. from the national police supported cause for action and how all sectors (Ngos, Police, Animal husbandry and vets) must work together for a united cause.

“Until we have enforceable and updated animal welfare laws to effectively deter mistreatment, crimes will continue to be committed against animals throughout Indonesia”, said BAWA’s Bapak I Gusti Ngurah

Bagus who noted that the Indonesian Criminal Code was established in 1918. “The current review of national laws presents an excellent opportunity to modernise laws and penalties applying to animal welfare so that they more appropriately address the full horror of illegal and inhumane activities today,” he said.

Bawa thanks Pak Johan and the American Institute for Indonesian Studies (AIFIS) for facilitating the national workshop and thanks all participants and presenters for their input and support for real change for a better future. We thank Humane Society International for their support and collaboration.

At the workshop BAWA presented laws and penalties applying to some common animal welfare offences. Here is a summary:

Cruelty in Communities

Includes beating, clubbing stabbing, strangling & throwing away animals

KUHP Articles 302; 406; 335; 170; 540.

Maximum sentence is 12 years in prison.

Animal Health Law No 18 (2009) Articles 66 & 67.

Caging & Chaining

Includes inadequate shelter or food or water; mishandling; mistreatment & torture

KUHP Articles 302; 406; 540; 335.

Maximum sentence is 2 years in prison.

Animal Health Law No 18 (2009) Articles 66 & 67.

Killing & / or Poisoning Dogs

Incudes actions by community request or by government

KUHP Articles 302; 406; 335; 170.  

Maximum sentence is 12 years in prison.

Animal Health Law No 18 (2009) Article 66.

Stealing Dogs

Includes for profit or ransom

KUHP Articles 362; 363; 406; 480; 481; 335; 365

Maximum sentence is 15 years in prison.

Organised Dog Fighting

KUHP Articles 241; 302; 406; 170.

Maximum sentence is 12 years in prison.

Animal Health Laws No 18 (2009) Articles 66 & 67.

Dog Meat Trade (RW)

Different Articles apply to Suppliers, Sellers & Buyers

KUHP Articles 241; 302; 362; 363; 406; 335; 170; 480; 481; 204; 205.

Maximum sentence is life in prison.

Animal Health Law No 18 (2009) Articles 66 & 67.

Chapter 13 Articles 86 & 87.