An owl cafe is opening in Abu Dhabi and there will be legit owls there

An owl cafe is opening in Abu Dhabi and there will be legit owls there

02 Feb 2020

It's inspired by Japan, but is it ethical?

An 'owl cafe' is opening in Abu Dhabi, it has been announced, with live owls being present in the venue for guests to pet and interact with. 

The concept is inspired by the animal cafes in Japan, which have plenty hosting owls to meet with your coffee. 

The cafe claims it will have a soft opening soon in Abu Dhabi, with the owls already in the capital. 

It follows the animal-interaction trend, with Dubai home to cat cafe, Ailuromania. 

Are owl cafes ethical? 

While owners of the cafes in Japan insist that the owls are bred and raised by humans, so they're 'imprinted' with humans from a young age, the outlets have come under fire from animal protection groups. 

According to Reuters, Chihiro Okada of Japan's Animals Rights Centre says of the owls in the cafes: “When they think of animal abuse, people think of kicking or hitting animals, but it isn’t limited to that."

Their noctural habits can be disrupted, and some of the cafes have been known to tie the owls' feet to perches. 

“Confining an animal to a small space is certainly a form of abuse. Showing them off like products is also a stressful situation. They can’t move and drink freely.”

Any activity that uses animals for forced interaction with humans is unethical, however treatment of animals is a case-by-case basis.