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"Cruel" Catcha Cray machine at gay pub

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News Staff - 20th September 2009

K' Road's Naval & Family pub has been boycotted by a prominent animal advocacy group over its controversial 'Catcha Cray' machine.

Catch 'em?: A crayfish awaits its fate

The machine, installed last month beside the bar area, features a metal claw which descends to pick up live crayfish.

At $3 a go, several punters at the pub have been winning the crayfish recently, which are then killed and cooked in the pub's kitchen.

The Albion on Hobson Street and Northcote's The Backyard Bar also have 'Catcha Cray' machines.

'Catcha Cray': Cruel or cool?
But lobby group Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE) are campaigning for the machines to be removed, saying they "stress and torment" the animals.

"Since research has demonstrated that crustaceans are stressed by repeated handling, these machines are designed to cause needless stress which is unacceptable," says SAFE campaigner Mandy Carter.

"Even more disturbing, people have reported witnessing the metal claws breaking the claws and legs of crays."

SAFE's director Anthony Terry was escorted off the premises of The Albion Hotel be the manager after expressing concerns about the welfare of the crayfish recently. Meanwhile, Kingland's The Kingslander pub removed their 'Catcha Cray' machine after several customers complained. spoke to several punters at the Naval & Family last night about the machine - some enjoyed watching people having a go at the game, while others believed it was cruel to the animals. At one point, a crayfish was caught by the metal claw but the animal thrashed suddenly and splashed back into the water.

The Naval & Family's management say the machine provides something "fun and different" for customers to try, and has proven popular with several people winning crayfish. Responding to concerns over the crays' welfare, the pub's staff claim the SPCA has given the machine the OK.

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