Wednesday 14 February 2024

Female cat lover campaigns to be a lawmaker in Indonesia

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is a story from the other side of the world for me but any story which reports that a person wants to be a lawmaker in their country's parliament who is a cat lover and probably an animal lover as well, will interest me deeply. 

That's because there is a need worldwide to improve animal welfare especially in the Far East (in my opinion) and as you probably know Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of Indonesia.

The person in question is Indonesian Francine Widjojo. She has just hit the campaign trail carrying cat treats and cats I'm told by Reuters. She wants to raise awareness of animal cruelty during her campaigning.

Female cat lover campaigns to be a lawmaker in Indonesia
Francine on the campaign trail. Image: Reuters.

Indonesia will hold presidential and legislative elections on February 14 and campaigning is now in full swing.

During her campaigning, Francine is seen holding Yakult, a white cat who she rescued as a kitten and who is one of 27 living in her home! I hope that she has a big home and some help!

Francine is 44 years old. She told Reuters last month while her cat was being vaccinated that if she is successful in her campaigning and is elected she wants to improve the sterilisation and vaccination rate of cat companions in Jakarta. She added that, "One of the issues that I will be fighting for is for Jakarta to be a pet-friendly city."

Regrettably, I have to report that in some parts of Indonesia people consume cat and dog meat which is not untypical in south-east Asia as a whole. 

From a Westerner's point of view it is unacceptable. China kills and consumes the most cats and dogs of all the countries in the world. Vietnam follows but South Korea has recently introduced a law which will ban dog meat as I recall.

Interestingly, the Indonesian government's agricultural ministry classified dog meat as not for human consumption in 2018 but it didn't have any impact on the trade. Note: it is difficult to stop deep rooted commercial enterprises and habits which might go back hundreds or more years. It requires great enforcement. In this instance, no punishment was created for eating dog meat and therefore the recommendation was unenforceable.

Animal activists are campaigning for a national ban on dog and cat meat trades according to The Humane Society International.

Francine is running for election under the umbrella of the Indonesian Solidarity Party which is headed by the president's youngest son. She also plans to fight against corruption, religious and racial intolerance.

She mentioned that animal cruelty is not often addressed in Indonesia but she vows to fight the problem. I wish her the very best. I love to read about people campaigning for animal welfare many thousands of miles away and committing to the fight to eradicate animal abuse.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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