The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) said on Tuesday (22 June) that it conducted a joint visit to the House of Seafood with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) on Monday, after the recent case of crabs being walked as part of the restaurant’s “publicity efforts”.
The House of Seafood in Punggol has recently drawn flak from netizens over its now-deleted Facebook post on 18 June, which showed photos of a man – with several others – walking live crabs that were tied to ropes.
The post was captioned with: “To make sure our crabs are really meaty that can satisfy every of our food patrons, we would bring them out strolling along the breezy Punggol Beach, just to get enough exercises… cheers!”
The restaurant has since removed the post after receiving backlash from many netizens.
Following that, wildlife rescue group ACRES took to Facebook on Tuesday noting that it has conducted a joint visit to the restaurant along with SPCA to speak to the restaurant’s owner Dato Francis Ng, who shared that “the crabs were not really walked but posed for photos for a short while”.
“Thanks to Mr Francis for also showing us how the crabs were housed in his F&B establishment,” it wrote.
ACRES also mentioned the House of Seafood’s “previous saga” in 2019 that sparked uproar online for featuring live crabs on its claw machine – costing S$5 for each play at the machine – which was subsequently suspended.
“Despite SPCA providing them with detailed guidelines on the welfare of these crabs during the previous saga, and the fact that the House of Seafood has already hosted a similar publicity stunt in the past through a crab claw machine, these cases highlight the need for standard of conduct for individuals and businesses that trade in live food animals in Singapore.
“From #LiveTransport, limited (or lack of) movements, handling, storage, slaughter to display in food establishments, these animals go through a lot of stress.
“The least that could be done is to ensure these animals are not subjected to undue stress or discomfort during the above. Not only for the welfare of these animals, but also for food safety and for the consumers to be aware of the treatment of the animals they pay for,” said the group.
It also expressed gratitude to the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) for reviewing the current guidelines, together with ACRES and SPCA.
“We are also happy to share that as a result of our joint campaign last year on sale of live turtles and frogs at the wet market (https://bit.ly/SingaporeWetmarket), SFA has shared that they have ended the sale of live frogs and turtles at Singapore’s wet markets as of December 2020,” said ACRES.