On June 18, House of Seafood took to Facebook to share that it was walking its crabs on leash.
These crabs were meant for sale as food for customers too.
The post read:
The caption on the post read:
"We love our crabs, the same way as everyone love their pets!
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!"
In response to the post, many left angry reactions and comments accusing the restaurant of cruelty.
ACRES & SPCA visited the restaurant
On June 21, animal welfare groups Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) conducted a joint visit to House of Seafood.
There, they spoke to the owner of the establishment who said that the crabs were "not really walked but posed for photos for a short while".
ACRES and SPCA also had a look at how the crabs were housed in the F&B establishment.
Not the first publicity stunt
ACRES pointed out that SPCA had previously provided detailed guidelines on the welfare of the crabs after the restaurant launched a live crab claw machine.
In 2019, House of Seafood allowed customers to catch live crabs in a claw machine for S$5 per try.
The stunt resulted in backlash from those who found it unacceptable to subject live animals to such treatment.
In their post, ACRES also highlighted the need for a 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."
The Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) is reviewing the current guidelines with ACRES and SPCA.
SPCA also uploaded a post highlighting the need for higher standards in the industry, and promised to work with relevant stakeholders.
View ACRES' post here:
Top photos via House of Seafood