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Anger flares over Catcha Cray machines

Published: 4:31AM Tuesday February 09, 2010 Source: ONE News

Save Animals From Exploitation (SAFE) is angry at what it says is "blatant cruelty" of so-called Catcha Cray machines.

The machines are used in a handful of pubs around the North Island, where people can try their luck at grabbing a crayfish using mechanised arm devices.

Patrick Chandulal, who owns the Catcha Cray franschise, says the game is entertainment.

"(The game) is fine as long as the welfare of the living thing is not being compromised. I have evidence from experts that the crayfish are fine," he says.

However, SAFE campaign director Hans Kriek claims to have expert evidence to the contrary.

"There's a fair bit of research that's been done on crays. (The crayfish) get stressed when they're handled," Kriek says.

Kriek has gone so far as to label the Catcha Cray machines illegal.

"(The machines are illegal) because the law says that animals must be handled in a manner that minimises the likelihood of pain and distress."

Kriek says the SPCA are seeking legal opinion about shutting the Catcha Cray machines down.