Singapore

Ex-owner of cat cafe, where 7 cats died, jailed

Ex-owner of cat cafe, where 7 cats died, jailed
Cuddles Cat Cafe at *SCAPE. TODAY file photo
Published: 9:05 PM, April 18, 2017
Updated: 11:50 PM, April 18, 2017

SINGAPORE — The former owner of a now defunct cat cafe in Orchard was sentenced to two weeks’ jail and fined S$3,500 on Tuesday (April 18) for offences related to the health of the cats on his premises.

Jonathan Tan Wei-De was the owner of Cuddles Cat Café at *SCAPE, which was shut in December 2014 — less than four months after it opened. TODAY reported at the time that seven of the 30 cats bought for the cafe had died before the establishment was opened in mid-September.

According to an Agri-food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) statement on Tuesday, the agency was first alerted to allegations of mismanagement of diseased cats at the premises in October that year — prompting an investigation.

Tan was later found to have breached AVA licensing conditions by not keeping the cats in good health. Additionally, the 33-year-old also failed to ensure that the cats tested negative for toxoplasmosis, a disease that can infect animals and humans, before keeping them in the café for public interaction.

The case was later referred to the police after it was alleged that Tan had provided falsified cat health records when he applied for an AVA licence for the cafe. Tan’s sentence on Tuesday was for giving false information to a public servant and for attempting to cheat. The S$3,500 fine, which was in default of two weeks’ imprisonment, was for failing to comply with the AVA licensing conditions.