CANINE CAFE COMPANY: Whether or not dogs are allowed in cafes and eateries will be up to the venue owner following Sunshine Coast Council’s endorsement of an amendment to align the local law with state law regulations.
CANINE CAFE COMPANY: Whether or not dogs are allowed in cafes and eateries will be up to the venue owner following Sunshine Coast Council’s endorsement of an amendment to align the local law with state law regulations. Geoff Potter

Doggy dining added to menu

DINING venue owners will decide whether or not dogs are allowed in their outdoor areas.

Sunshine Coast Council last week endorsed an amendment to align the local law with state law regulations on dogs in outdoor dining areas attached to cafes and restaurants.

Pets will not be allowed in outdoor dining areas which can be "temporarily enclosed with plastic walls", but exemptions are in place for assistance animals such as guide dogs.

Community Programs portfolio councillor Jenny McKay said the National Food Safety Standards had to be followed and council would conduct a comprehensive education campaign so both business owners and dog owners understood their responsibilities.

Councillors considered the feedback gathered over recent months and noted a majority of respondents supported the change.

Operators of restaurants, cafes and outdoor dining areas can soon expect a visit from council officers.

"We will undertake a combined communication and inspection program because, for example, a business that can be temporarily enclosed with plastic walls is precluded from having dogs at their restaurant or cafe under the food safety standards," Councillor McKay said.

"Council recognises that many owners love the companionship of their dog while enjoying a coffee or meal ... however, our local laws also have to reflect the requirements of Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

"It is also important that pet owners understand their responsibilities, so the community education program will also target them."


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