A major breakthrough in the dog and cat meat trade has just been made by Indonesia’s city of Tomohon, which has pledged its commitment to banning the trade.

The proposed ban comes after the Change For Animals Foundation and partner groups the Dog Meat Free Indonesia Coalition and Animal Friends Manado, met alongside representatives from the City of Tomohon’s government. Many residents and animal rights activists are rejoicing, as this city is known for it’s “extreme market“, where tens of thousands of dogs and cats are killed for meat every week.

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Every annum, this equates to millions of dogs transported across Indonesia, fueling the high demand for this meat. Unlike agricultural farming, most of these animals in the dog and cat meat trade are pets, stolen from families and trafficked illegally. These animals spend long periods of time, generally, a minimum of two days with their mouths bound shut and bodies forced into small cages and sacks, unable to move or defend themselves.

“I didn’t know the magnitude, literally millions of dogs are slaughtered for food in Indonesia every year. It has to be condemned, and we have to stop it. Now that you know, please help us [Change for Animals Foundation] help them, thank you,” said outspoken animal rights activist, Ricky Gervais. Peter Egan and Joanna Lumley have also spoken out in support of a dog-meat-free Indonesia.

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The animal welfare-conscious team were able to secure the necessary commitment from the city’s government representatives that action will be taken to end these bloody trades, the city also requested support for the organizations to help facilitate the change.

From now on, the organizations have promised to focus on monitoring that city’s promises result in actions. Public health and safety, in addition to animal welfare concerns, have been heard and addressed.

Currently, a petition is gathering signatures for people to support the ongoing action to protect Indonesia’s dogs and cats.