The Central Java administration is requiring regents and mayors across the province to ban the consumption of dog meat throughout the region.
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo passed the order following reports of a distribution network catering to dog meat consumers in the province, most of which are based in Surakarta Raya, which includes Surakarta city and its surrounding regencies.
“We must push the Surakarta administration to issue a strict regulation that prohibits people from consuming or selling dog meat,” Ganjar said after a meeting with representatives from a nongovernmental organisation, Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI), on Tuesday.
According to the DMFI, about 13,700 dogs are slaughtered every month for sale as food through stalls across Surakarta Raya.
Ganjar asserted that dog meat was not to be consumed, citing a 2012 law on food, which stipulates that dogs are not qualified to be consumable food sources since they are neither farm nor forest products.
“The law clearly prohibits it. Once a regency issues a ban, every other region will follow suit. Agency heads will convene to discuss such a regulation,” he said as quoted by kompas.com.
The governor urged owners of restaurants and street food stalls that sell cuisine based on dog meat to switch to other meats.
“Just consume meats that are meant to be consumed. Beef and chicken meat taste better,” Ganjar said, adding that eaters should understand that dog meat consumption increased the risk of spreading rabies.
Central Java is only one among several regions in the country, which include Yogyakarta, Bali, North Sumatra and North Sulawesi, where dishes made of dog meat are commonly found at street food stalls and restaurants.
Last year, the government agreed with a plan to issue a regulation banning the trade in dog meat amid concerns over the spread of rabies and animal abuse following a series of anti-dog-meat campaigns across the country.