Animal lovers had their claws out after the owner of a local restaurant decided to take live crabs out to the park.
Francis Ng, owner of House of Seafood in Punggol, was on Friday photographed at a nearby park with several others while posing with live crabs that were tied to ropes. The incident drew criticisms online for alleged animal abuse and teaching the kids that pets could be eaten, among others, prompting two major animal groups to confront the restaurant owner yesterday, when they subsequently learned that there had been a misunderstanding.
“Many of you wrote to us with concern on the recent case of crabs being walked as part of a restaurant’s publicity efforts,” a statement by Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, aka ACRES, said today. “ACRES and [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] conducted a joint visit yesterday to speak to Mr Francis, owner of the establishment 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,” the statement added. Ng confirmed this to Coconuts after this article was published, saying that the whole impromptu photoshoot took around five minutes.
The photos showed Ng holding what looked like a leash that was attached to a live crab and posing with children who were doing the same during the beachside stroll. Another pictured Ng looking as if he was walking a crab next to a dog walker.
“Due to COVID, no business, so I got a lot of crabs. The crabs sit inside the basket the whole day, sitting there. [I] see them, quite boring, all tied up,” he said. Ng got his employee to help him carry a box of six crabs to the park for the photo opportunity, he said. Along the way, curious passersby, including children, stopped to ask questions and asked for photos with the crustaceans.
“Action only lah,” he told Coconuts. He showed the representatives from ACRES and SPCA his kitchen when they arrived to check on the crabs.
The restaurant shared photos of the crab stunt with the press on Sunday, joking that the activity was meant to help the crabs “get enough exercises” so that they could stay “meaty.”
The same restaurant found itself in a crabby situation two years ago over a live crab claw machine.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with Francis Ng’s comments.
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