A new law in Japan prohibits pet shops from displaying cats and dogs after 8 p.m. The Environment Ministry Law for Animal Welfare and Management ordinance also bans pet shops from selling any animal after 8 p.m. Prior to the June 1 implementation of the law, many pet shops stayed open after midnight.
Some pet shops in the entertainment districts in big cities in Japan had stayed open until 3 a.m., displaying puppies and kittens to the businessmen and hostesses leaving nearby clubs.
According to the new law cats and dogs can be on display at pet shops from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. only.
The ordinance is partly in response to claims by animal rights’ groups that animals kept in tiny cages and under bright lighting at night are under stress and those conditions can affect the growth hormone and the health of the animals.
Cat cafés, where customers pay to mingle with cats in coffee-shop-like settings were granted a waiver from the ordinance. Cat cafés can have cats on display until 10 p.m. if the animals are over a year old and are not caged.
Violators of the law face fines of up to ¥300,000. More public hearings will be held before renewal of the ordinance in 2014.
Dog in pet shop Baby Doll, Shibuya, Tokyo
Cats displayed in a pet store in Roppongi, Tokyo
Sign in front of cat café in Tokyo
photos: cat café; open late; Baby Doll; cats Roppongi; sign in front.