NGO investigations have raised serious concerns about Indonesia's dog meat trade. In addition to extreme animal cruelty, this trade has significant public health implications. The link between the dog meat trade and the spread of rabies is well established.
Indonesia has pledged to eliminate rabies by 2020, yet the dog meat trade operates in breach of recommendations and guidelines on rabies control and elimination by leading human and animal health experts (OIE, WHO, PAHO, FAO), and involves the large-scale uncontrolled movement of dogs. The dogs are often transported long distances and often illegally crossing between provinces in clear breach of Indonesia's own anti-rabies rules. This zoonotic disease is now endemic in 24 of the country's 33 provinces.
Under the ongoing negotiations for an EU-Indonesia free trade agreement, collaboration on animal welfare and animal health is envisaged in the textual proposal for a chapter on SPS measures.
1. Is the Commission aware of the investigative reports concerning the trade in dog meat in Indonesia?
2. Will it address the issue of the dog meat trade and rabies prevention and control within the framework of its negotiations on SPS measures with Indonesia?
The Commission is not aware of investigative reports concerning trade of dog meat in Indonesia.
The Commission would however like to reassure the Honourable Member that public and animal health issues and cooperation on animal welfare are systematically included both in bilateral negotiations and free trade agreements (FTA) with trading partners.
The sanitary and phytosanitary measures under negotiation with Indonesia include the right for the importing party to establish the import conditions which shall be fulfilled by the exporting party. This gives the EU a solid legal ground to maintain its policy which does not allow any import of dog meat into the EU territory. This principle applies also for the animal health conditions to be fulfilled by the exporting partner, in particular the import requirements to prevent introduction of animals infected by rabies into the EU. The Commission monitors the implementation of such provisions through the veterinary controls carried out at the EU borders with the aim to prevent any import of goods and animals not fulfilling the relevant rules or to prevent illegal imports. There are, therefore, no circumstances under which dog meat imports would be permitted from Indonesia, or from any country.
The Commission has no power to act directly in non-EU countries on the issue of animal welfare, but will continue raising awareness on it, including through the inclusion of cooperation on animal welfare in the framework of the FTA under negotiation with Indonesia.