'Just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right' - Lobster 'liberator' stands by group's restaurant raid
An animal rights campaigner who raided a restaurant and 'liberated' a number of lobsters from a display tank said a garda investigation is a "small price to pay" now that lobsters have a chance in life.
Laura Broxson, of the National Animal Rights Association (NARA), was one of a group who entered a restaurant on Friday evening, took nine lobsters from a tank in the window and released them into the sea at Clontarf.
The Chinese restaurant in question, Ka Shing in Dublin's Wicklow Street, said it reported a loss of €150 to gardai following the removal of lobsters from its premises.
Ms Broxson told the Herald that she has spoken with gardai about the incident, but stands by her decision to carry out the 'rescue'.
Ka Shing manager Bi Lian Liu showed the Herald the now vacant window display tank from which the activists took the nine lobsters.
Staff at the restaurant are hesitant to refill the display tank following last week's incident.
A video posted on the NARA YouTube account shows members of the group displaying a banner in the street before they took the lobsters.
It later shows the activists removing rubber bands from the lobsters' claws and releasing them into the Irish Sea.
A staff member at the restaurant, who did not wish to be named, told the Herald that the act was "well planned."
"I had no idea who they were. They didn't make themselves known to us as representatives of any group," they said.
"They just said 'table for four please' and they pretended to be customers.
"To disrupt a business like this, I think it's not right."
Ms Broxson claimed that NARA had approached the establishment previously with their concerns on the treatment of lobsters in restaurants.
The staff member said they would be happy to hear the group's views.
"They probably have done research and I would be quite open to the information," the staff member added.
Ms Broxson said she hopes the incident will encourage the restaurant to reconsider selling live lobsters.
"If they would be willing to stop doing that, then that would be amazing," she said.
"It's very cruel. They feel pain, just the same way a cat or a dog would, even more so because their nervous systems never shut down when they go into shock."
Ms Broxson said NARA is hoping to make the sale of live lobsters illegal in Ireland.
"Just because it's legal doesn't mean that it's right," she added.
Gardai in Pearse Street have said they are investigating a theft from a restaurant in Wicklow Street last Friday evening.
No arrests have yet been made and investigations are continuing.