A hot pot restaurant in Clarke Quay, Singapore has run into hot waters after it started serving rabbit meat dishes in its menu
While the restaurant was promoting the rabbit meat dishes through its Facebook page, it has taken down the post at the time of writing
In the since-deleted post, Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpothad written, "We are happy to announce that we are the first and only one to release rabbit hot pot in Singapore".
Lianhe Wanbao reported that while some of the people on the restaurant's Facebook page said that they were keen to try out the dish, it also caused a heated discussion among others.
A couple of rabbit welfare groups in Singapore then started a petition against the restaurant, stating that rabbit owners "are not happy" as "rabbits are the 3rd most common household pets in Singapore"
The Change.org petition "Say "No" To Rabbit Hotpot" has since been signed by more than 5,100 people.
The petition, which was started by Bunny Wonderland and House Rabbit Society Singapore, urges people to request for Tong Xin Ru Yi Traditional Hotpot to remove the two items from their menu.
"Both organisations have been tirelessly rescuing abandoned rabbits in Singapore and working with rabbit lovers to improve their welfare," the petition stated.
"For this restaurant to encourage the consumption of our pets, it's totally against all that we have worked hard to achieve. If this dish is allowed, does that means there will be cat stews and dog barbeque soon?"
According to the restaurant owner Mr Zhang, who is originally from Sichuan, China where rabbit meat is served, he wanted to bring the taste of his hometown to Sichuan natives who live in Singapore
The owner had reportedly imported 600kg of frozen rabbit meat in November after the restaurant received many orders from Sichuan natives in Singapore, reported Lianhe Wanbao.
According to an estimation by the owner, while an average of 20kg of frozen rabbit meat was sold every day since the introduction of the dishes, only 20% of those who tried the rabbit dishes were Singaporean.
Mothership.sg said that the owner had applied for a license that allows the restaurant to import rabbit meat as it is part of the list of meat products allowed to be imported into Singapore.
Meanwhile, a Facebook poll conducted showed that while 32% of participants wouldn't mind trying the dish, the majority are against it
Back in October, a restaurant in Singapore ran into trouble after it installed a claw machine filled with live crabs for customers to catch: