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Dave Neale of Animals Asia: Animal Welfare in Indonesia is Still Changeable (March 11, 2017)
Posted on 01:36 March 12th, 2017

Nearly all zoos in Indonesia are not currently meeting the minimum conservation agency ministerial regulations. However, this situation is still changeable, according to the Animal Welfare Director of Animals Asia Foundation, Dave Neale.

“It is actually written in the regulations of the zoos (conservation agencies); a stipulation of the regulations says that if you want to begin a conservation agency, you have to meet the behavioral needs of the animals you want to exhibit,” Dave stated in his closing remark at a zoo investigation and monitoring training workshop at Ibis Styles Jakarta Airport Hotel on Saturday (11th of March 2017)

“Almost all zoos aren’t meeting the regulations, but the problem is that nobody knows how to enforce these regulations because nobody really understands the behavioral needs of the animals. We need to get this message out to the general public because I don’t believe that the majority of the public want to see animals suffering,” Dave expressed further in the training workshop which was organised by the Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group with supports from Change for Animals Foundation (CFAF) and Animals Asia Foundation (AAF).

According to Dave, the public do not want to see animal suffering, but they simply may not understand that the animals are suffering. “I don’t believe that the people want to see animal suffering, where people coming to zoos enjoying animal suffering. But I do believe that people don’t understand that the animals are indeed suffering,” Dave explained further before 30 workshop participants from the Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group.

Dave told the workshop participants (Scorpion’s full time staff, part time/volunteers), that we need to explain to people about the mental and physical health of the animals. If people develop an understanding of animal welfare, the abnormal behavior of the animals would become unacceptable to them and the public would drive the change.

“Animal welfare is about both physical and mental health. I think we can still change public awareness about what animal welfare is,” Dave said.

The Deputy Programmes Director of Scorpion Foundation, Marison Guciano also appeared as the second resource person in the workshop. He talked about some success stories of Scorpion as well as constraints this new NGO was facing during the first two years of operation. 

All participants of the training workshop (full-time staff of Scorpion Foundation, part-time and volunteers) taking picture with Lola Webber, and Dave Neale.

The Scorpion Foundation carried out the one-day training workshop which included participants from various places in Indonesia, including Aceh; North Sumatra; Riau; Bengkulu; East Java; West Java; and Jakarta. Aim of the workshop is to improve the knowledge and skills of the Scorpion's staff members and volunteers. 


Deputy Director of Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group, Marison Guciano (left) is one of the resource persons at the Scorpion workshop sharing his experience in investigation of wildlife markets in various places in Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and Bali. (Photo: Rudianto Sembiring)

Moderator/interpreter of the workshop, Gunung Gea (from left), Dave Neale, and Lola Webber. (Photo: Rudianto Sembiring)

Workshop participant from West Java, Febby receiving certificate of participation from Lola Webber.

Participant from Sumatra, Eko Suganda receiving certificate of participation from Dave Neale.

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