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Restaurant on SPCA’s watch list owner says of claw machine – “we dont play, we just display”

The Jurong outlet owner says that it now uses the machine only as a tank for displaying lobsters...

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Sea Tripod Seafood Group, whose sole restaurant is its Jurong outlet, said it uses an arcade claw machine as a tank and does not allow people to play with the mechanical claw function.

It became the second restaurant under fire for using such a machine on live animals.

The seafood restaurant in Jurong initially used the machine on live lobsters when it first opened in January but was asked to stop the practice by the then Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) as it was cruel to the animals.

The Jurong outlet owner says that it now uses the machine only as a tank for displaying lobsters, The Straits Times reported.

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The restaurant’s manager, known only as Mr Li said they bought the machine from China for $3,000 and added: “We don’t want to offend any people or break any laws.”

He said if they receive any complaints from government officials, they’ll definitely take more action, “but for now we don’t play, we just display.”

Currently, the machine had a plastic claw inside it, and a black signboard on top of it that read “Catch lobster, and enjoy it! (Cook with no extra charge)”, but it had tape placed over the controls.

The SPCA said its concern and worries are that it becomes a trend and is normalised, thus they are taking action quickly to stop this from becoming a norm.

While Dr Gill appreciated that the agencies were in agreement with the SPCA, he said the restaurant should better clarify its stance. “Using the claw machine for display still sends a wrong message.”

This “alertness” with claw machines came after a restaurant in Punggol, House of Seafood, used a claw machine on its crabs and earned the ire of the public and drew criticism from the SPCA.

While government agencies are making efforts to stop such inhumane practices, can it be said that the restaurants using these claw machines had profits and entertainment in mind and never worried about cruelty to animals? / TISG

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