Birds and food establishments are a bad combination. Restaurants that ignore proper bird management are susceptible to numerous serious issues including disease from droppings and nesting materials, serious damage to structures and equipment, the risk of injury to customers and employees due to slippery walking surfaces or contaminated foods, and much more.

Unfortunately, in Japan, common sense has been thrown out the window with the potential to hurt humans as well as some beautiful birds. There are currently numerous cat cafés and even bunny cafés in Tokyo, and now an owl café has opened in the Tsukishima region. The “Owl Store” is a coffee shop where the birds are tethered to plastic and wire trays and are available for customers to pet and hold.

Customers are warned that there may be problems with bird droppings, and the owls are held tightly by the tether so that they don’t get spooked and fly into a wall. “Pet cafés” are popular with customers as area residents typically aren’t allowed pets in their apartments, and owners are said to be profiting, at least for now.

In the U.S., business owners who don’t enact proper bird management can be fined huge sums or even be shut down by health boards or government organizations such as OSHA. If customers even sight bird droppings it can result in huge losses for any food establishment due to development of a poor reputation.

People in the U.S. are generally aware of the many different diseases that birds and their droppings are known to carry. In fact, there are up to 60 different diseases that can be passed to humans as well as animals, including:

  • Salmonella
  • Gastroenteritis or campylobacteriosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Ornithosis
  • Ectoparasites

Bird management is essential for any restaurant that wants to develop or maintain a positive reputation. Companies such as Assured Environments can help create an effective plan by evaluating the property and implementing a strategy to remove bird nesting areas and relocate nuisance birds to another location, if necessary.