Even with the recent controversy over the welfare of animals in cat cafes ("Troubled cat cafe put up for sale"; Dec 19), the House Rabbit Society (Singapore) has been receiving queries about the setting up of "rabbit cafes" here.
We oppose the establishment of such cafes, on both the grounds of animal welfare and public hygiene.
While there are stringent licensing conditions for pet cafes, the health and well-being of rabbits often deteriorate too rapidly for any regular inspections and enforcement to be effectively conducted.
Rabbits are fragile and sensitive small animals that do not take well to being handled constantly, and being in an environment with crowds and loud noise - aspects present in any cafe.
They are significantly more vulnerable than dogs and cats, and require proper care by individuals trained in their diet, handling and daily monitoring of their health and behaviour.
We have been involved in the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of abandoned rabbits for more than a decade, and have seen many cases of rabbits being mishandled, resulting in serious injuries.
The welfare of rabbits takes precedence over commercial gains, and we urge the authorities to refrain from granting pet cafe licences to prospective applicants.
We also remind the public not to encourage business activities that treat rabbits as toys rather than living beings with sensitivities and vulnerabilities.
Betty Tan (Ms)
House Rabbit Society (Singapore)
This article was first published on December 27, 2014.
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