Are there laws that regulate animal health and animal welfare in Indonesia? The answer is: Yes.
Indonesian Penal Code/Criminal Code
Chapter XIV – Crimes against decency
(1) By a maximum imprisonment of three month or a maximum fine of three hundred rupiahs shall, being guilty of light mal-treatment to animals, be punished:
- Any person who without reasonable objective or by overstepping what is permissible in reaching such objective, with deliberate intent causes pain or harm to an animal or causes injury to the health of an animal;
- Any person who without reasonable objective or by overstepping what is permissible in reaching such objective, with deliberate intent withholds the necessary sustenance from an animal that wholly or partially belongs to him and is under his supervision, or from an animal to the sustenance of which he is obliged.
(2) If the fact results in an illness of longer than one week, mutilation, serious harm of another nature, or death of the animal, the offender shall by reason of maltreatment to animals be punished by a maximum imprisonment of nine months or a maximum fine of three hundred rupiahs.
(3) The animal may, if it belongs to the offender, be forfeited.
(4) Attempt to this crime shall not be punished.
Law No. 6 of 1967 Concerning Basic Provisions on Husbandry and Animal Health
Article 22 – Animal Welfare
For the interest of animal welfare, it shall be stipulated by Government Regulation provisions concerning:
a) Shelter and enclosure
b) Grooming and care
d) Use and utilization
e) Slaughter methods and killing
f) Proper treatment and protection of animals by humans
Law No. 18 of 2009 Concerning Husbandry and Animal Health
Article 66-67 – Animal Welfare
(1) In the interest of animal welfare, all measures that relate to the capturing and handling; sheltering and confining, caring and grooming; transport; slaughter and killing; and treatment and protection of animals is to be done properly.
(2) The provision on animal welfare as stipulated in paragraph (1) above shall be carried out humanely, which entails that:
- The capturing and handling of wild animals from their habitats must comply with the stipulations in laws on conservation;
- The sheltering and confining of animals shall be conducted properly so that it enables the animals to express their normal behaviors;
- The caring, safeguarding, grooming, and giving protection to animals shall be conducted properly so that the animals are free from hunger and thirst, pain, torture, and abuse, and from fear and distress;
- The transport of animals shall be conducted properly so that the animals are free from fear and distress and free from torture;
- The use and utilization of animals shall be done decently so that the animals are free from torture and abuse;
- The slaughter and killing of animals shall be done decently so that the animals are free from pain, fear and distress, torture, and abuse; and
- Torture and abuse towards animals must be avoided.
(3) Provisions concerning the effectuation of animal welfare applies to all vertebrates and certain invertebrates that have the capacity to feel pain;
(4) Further provisions concerning animal welfare as stated in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) shall be regulated in the Regulation of the Minister.
The effectuation of animal welfare as stated in Article 66 paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be executed by the Government and Regional Government together with the public.
The importance of public participation and animal welfare education
From a legal perspective, Indonesia is a country that cares for its animals. In Law No. 18/2009, the capacity to feel pain is deemed as the prerequisite obligating ethical treatment towards animals. Article 66 of the Law gives important consideration to the five freedoms of animals in husbandry and animal health. And from Article 67 we are able to conclude that the Indonesian public has a responsibility to take part in enforcing animal welfare laws. Public participation is crucial because currently law enforcement concerning animal welfare in Indonesia is still poor and has yet to achieve its goals.
However, another constraint is the society’s low awareness and lack of concern towards animal welfare. This is why ISAW aims to be at the forefront in advancing animal welfare education in the society, particularly to younger generations, in order to nurture their empathy towards animals as fellow living beings that have the capacity to feel pain (rasa) and desire (karsa). Our hope is to grow a sense of responsibility in people to care for the physical and psychological wellbeing of the animals around them.