Indonesian government officials recently banned deadly fights between domesticated dogs and wild boars. This declaration comes just two weeks after the Scorpion Foundation, a wildlife trade monitoring group, publicly released video footage of the vicious events. The Scorpion Foundation partnered with Animals Asia and the Change for Animals Foundation to expose the cruelty happening regularly in Indonesia.
LadyFreethinker also created a petition that garnered over 15,000 signatures to encourage the Indonesian government to make the fights illegal.
Dog and boar fights, also referred to as “adu bagong,” are a longstanding tradition in various regions in the district of West Java. The duels are supposedly meant to recreate hunting scenarios between the dogs and boars, and are held for profit at the animals’ expense.
At these cruel events, one dog and one boar are confined within a small arena approximately 15-30 meters. Spectators are protected only by a bamboo fence, and the fights do not end until one animal is injured or dead. If the dog wins, the owner receives about $2,000, and the dog will fight again after recuperating from its injuries. The boars are sold in the marketplace for meat.
Ade Sukalsah, head of publication of the West Java Local Government, acknowledged the historic context of the fights, but decried that, “If a tradition has a bad influence and a negative impact on social life, it is fitting that the tradition should be eliminated and even forgotten.”
The outlawing of dog and boar fights is the latest in a series of victories for the Scorpion Foundation and its partners in terms of animal violence in Indonesia. Several zoos in the Sumatra region were filmed forcing emaciated animals to perform tricks for food, and exploiting a baby orangutan for visitor photographs. New laws for higher standards of animal care were put into practice shortly after the footage was released.
Nonetheless, animals still suffer in Indonesia daily. Bears and dolphins are frequently transported across the country in traveling circuses and as photo-prop accessories. It is imperative that we continue to strive for cruelty-free environments worldwide.