Police intercept illegal dog meat truck in Indonesia for the first time

By on May 25, 2021 with 42 Comments

One of the most important aspects of animal advocacy is ensuring that changes to policy translate to meaningful actions that save lives. What happened on a street in Indonesia earlier this month signals remarkable progress, bringing much-needed hope to the more than one million dogs who are sold for their meat across the country each year.

On May 6, police in Indonesia’s Kulon Progo Regency stopped a truck containing 78 terrified and sickly dogs, who had been plucked off the streets or stolen from homes to be bound up and transported for slaughter. This was the first time police intercepted a dog meat truck, confiscating and changing the fate of the dogs on board. This was a direct result of campaigner pressure that produced greater resolve by authorities to challenge the trade. Now, 63 surviving dogs are safe and recovering at the Ron Ron Dog Care Jogja shelter, and have received vaccinations and care from veterinarians, thanks to Dog Meat Free Indonesia, a coalition of activists and animal welfare groups (Humane Society International is a founding member). Sadly, as is often the case, some dogs did not survive the trauma of the grueling 10-hour journey, packed and bound up on the dog dealers’ truck. But the 63 rescued dogs are receiving the care and attention that all dogs deserve.

Humane Society International has been fighting the dog meat trade in Indonesia for years. Even though the Indonesian government has declared that the dog meat trade is illegal, the trade still claims the lives of over a million dogs each year across the country. This truck is one of thousands each year transporting dogs on long and grueling journeys that sometimes last for days. It will take the strengthening of laws and strict enforcement to deter the people who keep this illegal industry going, even though most Indonesians don’t eat dogs and cats, and 93% oppose the trade.

HSI The 63 surviving dogs are safe. They and received vaccinations and veterinary care, thanks to Dog Meat Free Indonesia.

This rescue is the latest in a string of official crackdowns on the dog meat trade resulting from tireless campaigning by the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition. After years of national-level inaction and lack of legal enforcement, local authorities are taking matters into their own hands by passing new laws explicitly prohibiting the trade in their jurisdictions, on public health and animal welfare grounds.

  • In June 2019, the Karanganyar Regency in the province of Central Java, became the first jurisdiction to explicitly prohibit the dog meat trade. In a similar fashion to HSI’s dog meat farm closure program in South Korea where farmers commit to transition to humane livelihoods, the Karanganyar authorities offered a small financial compensation to traders and vendors to incentivize their adoption of alternative trades.
  • In the popular tourist destination of Bali, dog meat vendors are also being closed down.
  • In April 2021, Sukoharjo Regency in Central Java announced a ban on the trade, followed weeks later by a similar move in nearby Salatiga.

These are incredibly encouraging signs of progress, turning policy into life-saving action and reinforcing the social consensus that the dog meat trade must be abolished. But the developments in Karanganyar, Sukoharjo, Salatiga and Bali also demonstrate that it takes real leadership to tackle animal cruelty and threats to public health. The latest rescue highlights the need for strong and collaborative action between provinces to end the supply and demand of dogs and to ensure enforcement and strengthening of existing laws. More action is especially necessary in some of the most problematic hotspots:

  • The need for urgent action and leadership in the city of Solo is obvious: More than 13,700 dogs are slaughtered and consumed there each month.
  • In North Sulawesi there are hundreds of markets where public health laws are routinely flouted; dogs and cats are sold and slaughtered alongside snakes, lizards, bats and rats. Here, the trade continues unhindered despite the opposition of some local authorities.

Together with our Dog Meat Free Indonesia colleagues, we are determined to drive the dog and cat meat trade out of existence. We will continue to expose the cruelty in the dog meat epicenters, identify dog supply hotspots, where dogs are stolen from the streets and people’s homes, and work with progressive authorities to strengthen and enforce laws that could eradicate the trade for good.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made painfully clear that human and animal health are inextricably linked, making global calls to end dangerous and illegal animal trades especially urgent. We will continue to highlight the suffering of the animals, as well as the threats this trade poses to public health, because everyone ultimately stands to gain from ending Indonesia’s dog meat trade and saving these animals.

Animal Rescue and Care, Humane Society International

Subscribe to the Blog

Enter your email address below to receive updates each time we publish new content.


Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ewa Urbanski says:

    Vielen Dank für die Rettung der Hunde Weiter so!!!!!!

  2. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Esta crueldad tiene que acabar no podemos permitir que más animalitos sigan viviendo así y sufriendo por estas situaciones tan violentas e injustas

  3. Jeane Camargo da Silva says:

    Chega a doer meu coração quando vejo animais sendo tratados como lixo. Já passou da hora das autoridades tomarem uma postura diante de tamanha crueldade!

  4. Linda m prince says:

    I applaud your rescue work in Indonesia of dogs. I live in n.c. if I can help in any way please let me know. Thanks!!!

  5. Beatrice maldonado says:

    Soo sad why cant they .start planting seeds too make veggies and get rice . I live in N.y.c. im a pascatian almost five years .

    • Sayar Datta says:

      I urge the Indonesian Authorities to take continuous action to stop such crimes.May all animal lovers unite and protest such cruelty towards dogs and cats

  6. Felis M. Boudria says:

    Wonderful news. It should be a felony everywhere to trade cat and dog meat. Criminal to steal them and horribly cruel. I know countries vary in their laws. It would be great if international laws prohibited animal cruelty. Theft of animals should be prosecuted. It is progress.

  7. Carmen B says:

    I’m so happy this pets were saved from this cruel animals .what kind of human can eat a pet and why not alligator or snake for which it’s dangerous to people verses a dog/pet friendly creature helpful to all human,it’s just wrong dogs are not food.thank you to this organization that are helping save pets .

  8. Donna S Giannola says:

    This trade of dogs for slaughter is frightening and horrifically cruel. I am happy progress is being made. Cruelity towards animals – domestic or wild
    – must be stopped. When can we start seeing human as nurturing instead of killing and conquering ? Remember we are stewards!

  9. JoAnn Shults says:

    Those poor pup dogs😢
    Who could do such an evil thing.
    Only a monster.

  10. Yanneisy rivera says:

    This needs to stop poor bby no dog deserves this so sad😪 makes me wanna cry..

  11. Katie says:

    Thank you for your tireless commitment to end this horrific act against pets.

  12. Maria Mercado says:

    Jus make me sick from my stomach seeing those animals being killed they heva no defense!! Those so called people they are coward not good they should be ban from the humanity!! Period

  13. Its Me Aunt LuLu says:

    Happy to see these dogs were saved!
    Hopefully this will continue.
    I would totally adopt one of these guys & give them a loving, safe home. 🐶❤

  14. Silvia says:

    Great job safe all and every Dog. I’m totally against slaughtering, or abusein Dogs of any kind. The are loyal,loving and you best friend,,so please STOP this hurting dogs.Thanks Do whatever it takes STOP

  15. Thomas Turner says:

    That some sick stuff right there, what’s wrong with these people.

  16. Retarb says:

    This is great news I understand culture and delicacy but dogs and cats are a large exception they honestly deserve hefty punishment

  17. Mony says:

    Why why why? Why do you want to eat dogs? They are dogs. Our PET our FRIENDS… People, wake up! Stop eating dogs!!! There is nothing special about dog meat. People protect eating too much meat. Why don’t people protect about STOP eating dog meat. What a shame!!!

  18. Luz says:

    Thanks to all organizations and people who are helping to end this criminal activities with our friends and part of our families!

  19. Sara says:

    I am a DOG 🐶🐕 LOVER 💖💖 THANK YOU so much for rescuing these poor fur babies!!! It really is SAD & TERRIBLE what these HORRIFIC MONSTERS that are called *PATHETIC HUMANS in DESPAIR* do😠 SICKENING!!!!!

  20. Nina Q says:

    AMEN!!!!Thank you God , it’s about TIME this was DONE!. I feel that all countries that eat dogs and cats should have those animals removed from them and don’t allow those animals in they country . Since they can’t truly appreciate the value of these beautiful animals. I will also continue to FIGHT for them as an animal lover and rescuer myself . I hope to see many more updates on this and for this cause.Thank you for all who have made this GREAT VICTORY come to pass . Much more victory to come God willing….👏👏👏🙏🙏🙌💃🐕🐈

  21. Brenda Strickland says:

    You are sick people

  22. Lisa Garrison says:

    Sad for the ones yhat didn’t make it. Rip babies. How others recover and find forever loving homes.

  23. Noelle says:

    This is got to stop I’m very happy these dogs were rescued

  24. Rose corley says:

    This work to stop the unspeakable slaughter of innocent, emotionally intelligent creatures is desperately critical to the healing of our earth. Every cruel death impacts everyone of us. I am so grateful for countries who join hands and hearts with the Humane Society International. Thank you!

  25. Marisol Garcia says:

    This was the first time police intercepted a dog meat truck….and it shouldn’t be the last! Breaks my heart to hear these poor dogs are being treated this way! Who would want to eat dog meat after knowing they were sick and treated badly! Thank you for all who put their efforts in giving these dogs a voice and a chance for freedom.

  26. Kimberly Shaffer says:

    Thank god someone is helping these poor dogs!!! It’s absolutely disgusting what they’re doing to them, tying them up and shoving them in bags!! It’s inhumane, I wish there was a way out government could get involved.

  27. Kathleen Rogers says:

    How horrible can life be there. I suspect you are on some glamorous expensive trip and are eating someone’s pet dog or cat without anyone telling you. Makes you sick to know this

  28. Carmen L. Williams says:

    I am so glad to read about “progress” in the battle to end the killing of dogs for meat! It’s heartbreaking that millions of them are still being caged, killed, and consumed. Dogs deserve to be treated well and seen as the smart, loving, and wonderful creatures they truly are. Thank you to all who are working or donating to end the savage abomination of eating dogs!

  29. Alita says:


  30. Pat says:

    This cruelty to dogs must end! Thank you for finally enforcing this illegal and despicable activity 🙏🙏🙏

  31. Pamela Tate says:

    Absolutely barbaric how these dogs are treated, unbelievable a human could behave this way. A concerted effort by everyone concerned, and those involved should be in prison for a long long time!

  32. Phillips says:

    It’s good to see people coming to their senses

  33. Suzanne Swinconos says:

    Suzanne Swinconos sswinconos1962@gmail.com Thankyou for your hard work in this matter. It always seems that cats are always left out. What is being done to help the cats ??

  34. Brenda says:

    Thank God they intercept ed.Those poor.babies. I hope they get more of them and shut them down.It is so cruel and horrific act.Thank You.

  35. C. Traylor says:

    If 93% r opposed to the trade and don’t eat the meat then who is eating it? Where is it being sent?

  36. Lisa Bosco says:

    Thank-you for stopping this inhumane treatment of dogs. The picture of these dogs restrained in plastic bags is very disturbing and heart wrenching.
    No dog deserves to be treated in this horrific manner.

  37. Tanya says:

    All of you who rescue these animals are very Special People You will be greatly rewarded
    Please keep up the good work!!
    You are greatly appreciated!!!!!

  38. Eileen Sianez says:

    Way to go coppers!!

  39. Jet says:

    I hope people who are outraged about eating dogs and cats are against eating all animals whether it is a cow,pigs, goat,sheep,bull or any other animal.All animals have the same feelings and are in the same situation.Some cultures allow you to eat cats and dogs and some other allow cow and goats.So the revulsion and emotions should be for all animals.Dont justify your actions of eating other animals.

Share a Comment

The HSUS encourages open discussion, and we invite you to share your opinion on our issues. By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our commenting policy.
Please enter your name and email address below before commenting. Your email address will not be published.