TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An undesirable stench has unfortunately emerged during the international motorsport event in Central Lombok’s newly-built Mandalika Circuit on Sunday, as nearby Ebunut Village residents discovered neighborhood dogs had suddenly died, and alleges that the dogs were intentionally poisoned.
Tempo’s search together with local villagers found at least seven stray dogs and pet dogs that locals claim had died due to poisoning.
An Ebunut villager Kamil (45) recalls burying four of his neighbor’s dogs and one of his, which he strongly believes had been poisoned to death.
“I just can’t, I’m crying,” said Kamil to Tempo on Thursday, November 18, about his pet that had lived for a year with his family. He found his pet lifeless early in the morning at 03:00 AM. Asked about who was responsible for the seemingly mass-deaths, he is unsure.
However, he claims a number of people had indeed visited the village at night to search for dogs in the area days ahead of Mandalika Circuit hosting the World Superbike (WSB) race. He suspects the dogs were given poison during this moment, as the following day, “We found their (the dogs’) remains,” said Kamil.
Kamil also claims there were a number of people offering money to local residents to either catch or kill the dogs. One local resident who says encountered these people is Abdul Kadir (50) who immediately refused the offer.
“Who even has the heart to kill the dogs that have long lived alongside us,” says Kadir.
Another local villager echoing the same refusal was Mukhlis (40). “Of course I don’t want to. Who even does that? The animals are also cared for,” he said. “If there are things happening the dogs are the first ones to alert us.”
Asked about news about the dogs’ deaths ahead of the WSBK races, event organizer ITDC through its VP corporate secretary Miranti Nasti Rendranti said that the surrounding issue regarding the dogs is that they must block the animals from entering the circuit, especially the paddock area, “as it will be disturbance and safety hazard for the riders and the event itself,” Rendranti texted via Whatsapp to Tempo on November 20.
However, she did not provide answers about the suspicions of local villagers regarding dog poisoning within the Mandalika circuit compounds. She only said that the track has fences that would help block surrounding dogs from entering the facility.
Central Lombok Agriculture Agency Head Lalu Iskandar said local officials never conducted an execution against dogs that live in the vicinity of the Mandalika Circuit. He claims he was once invited to a coordination meeting to discuss the existence of stray dogs in the track’s vicinity prior to the WSBK event but insists that this topic of discussion was not followed up.
“We once held a meeting [to discuss] issues about the dogs. But there were many difficulties [facing us]. We don’t have tranquilizers, we didn’t have anything,” said Iskandar.
He insists there were no follow ups and there were no more meetings discussing the handling of stray dogs in the vicinity of the Mandalika Circuit ahead of the race.
ABDUL LATIEF APRIAMAN