MELAKA: The Melaka Historic City Council wants to audit animal cafes here to ensure that such outlets safeguard the welfare of the pets there.
Council publicity officer Ricky Tan said the audit process will also check to see that the operators do not exceed the maximum hours per day that the animals are allowed to interact with cafe patrons.
“Such cafes are still in their infancy here and we will stop those where serious animal welfare issues exist.
“We are not against such cafes but there is a serious responsibility involved.
“The operators must ensure that all requirements and standards are maintained,” he said.
Tan said after the first few cafes opened here, others “jumped on the bandwagon”.
He noted that the animals must be given room to move around in order to reduce their stress levels.
The council will work closely with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to determine the standards for the cafes, he said, pending the formulation of guidelines by the newly set-up Animal Welfare Board.
“As far as I know, the cafes here do not allow customers to bring their own pets,” he said, adding that the animals at these cafes should be given sufficient rest after interacting with patrons.
Those managing the cafes must have sufficient knowledge about animal healthcare and management, Tan noted.
Dogs and cats there should also be vaccinated and neutered, while the staff should also be properly trained to handle them, he added.
State Housing, Local Government and Environment committee chairman Datuk Ismail Othman said there was a need to check whether or not the cafe operators applied for relevant licences to have pets roaming around the premises.
“There’s nothing wrong with operating such cafes but our main concern is the welfare of the animals,” he said.
State Veterinary director Dr Azlan Engah said his enforcement unit would act on any complaints of animal abuse at these outlets.
“Their licensing is under the local government so we can move in if there are complaints of ill-treatment,” he added.