Shut Down Cruel Jogjakarta Animal Market (Indonesia)
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This all started as I was on vacation in Jogjakarta, Java, Indonesia with my family. We were sold on the idea of visiting a supposedly "cultural market of local birds and handcrafted bird cages." An hour later I left sobbing and with a queasy stomach.
This market contains everything from sick, malnourished pedigree cats and kitten with horrid eye infections to baby monkeys kept in a dark shed in palm-sized cages screeching and crying-- yes, crying. I was doing a good job at keeping it together until I walked into the back of a stall and saw two baby monkeys. I could have held both of them in my hand, and they were reduced to skin and bones. There faces portrayed desperation and somehow guilt, while shaking vigorously. I could absolutely no longer hold back tears as the two babies called to each other through the cage bars and their bony fingers reached for us. They avoided our gaze as much as possible, but as I bent down one of them lifted their eyes and the absolute look of desolation and fear sent shivers down my spine. I held their fingers and they did nothing but tighten their grip, until I had to let go. Beyond this, the market is crowded with old sheds, each selling animals in worst conditions than the previous.
There are baby Sugar Gliders (Endangered animals that are illegal for sale) fed milk solutions through a bottle, Luwaks (Precious indonesian animals used to make Luwak Coffee) squished in cages hyperventilating, and humongous night bats huddled together in a giant mass with open head wounds. There are owls in cages barely large enough to spread their wings, and dogs including Golden Retrievers, Daschuns and a Pregnant pitbull, passing back and forth in their cramped cages going wild to get affection. Rare snakes and lizards are kept in glass tanks of dirty water, even featuring an incredibly large and wide snake, resembling an anaconda, as a center attraction of the market.
I still carry a heavy heart knowing that tourists are primarily the ones keeping this market thriving, and that nobody has taken significant action to stop it. Doing some research on this market, I have realized that this is not an unpopular opinion. The majority of reviews and blogs written on this market describe the pitiful state of this popular tourist attraction, and the strong discouragement for tourists to encourage this. I urge that this is an extremely urgent issue, and although this is only part of a much bigger picture of illegal animal trafficking, action taken against this market will significantly impact thousands of animal's lives now and in the furture.
I am aware that this is an issue that is extremely difficult to solve, and that selling animals from exotic locations and domesticated pets industry provides a source of income for many families in poverty-stricken areas. Illegal animal trafficking,"puppy mills", dog fighting and animal abuse is common in areas like Indonesia, and involves international clientele requesting rare and exotic animals. I hope that by bringing awareness to this issues and by making efforts to end this specific market, Indonesian organizations will impose stricter rules on animal sales and increase efforts to stop wildlife traffickers.
If we reach the goal of 1,000 signatures, "Animal Friends Jogjakrta" will be urged to take action, as they have the power and reasources to do so. Every single signature for this petition will help towards the end goal of having this cruel market shut down, and will have a big impact in spreading awareness for illegal animal trafficking and a small step towards ending this industry throughout the world.
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