I going to try and not use this post to debate the merits of whether lobster crane machines are cruel to the animals but it was only a matter of time before someone, somewhere lodged a protest against the machines, which we have discussed previously. This particular case comes from New Zealand, where The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals “sealed up the three controversial Catcha Cray machines operating in Auckland pubs” recently. The SPCA brought in a “crustacean expert” who said that in their expert opinion the game was harmful to the animals and apparently this society has the legal authority to shut the machines down, which they are doing where ever they can be found. All this is despite the fact that the SPCA and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry approved the game in the past. The owner of the machines will be fighting this in court so we will have to wait and see what happens but it’s no secret that the government in neighboring Australia has the habit of playing the nanny and banning all sorts of games they feel are inappropriate for whatever reason. I haven’t really heard of that happening in New Zealand however. We’ll have to wait and see as to whether this sort of haggling over whether the game is suitable or not will spread to other countries or not (these machines can be found in Asia and the US, not sure if they’ve been spotted in Europe yet) but if so it will prove to be a hassle for people who operate them.