Celebrities charged for eating rat

Celebrities charged for eating rat

Animal cruelty

Celebrities charged for eating rat

Gino D’Acampo (right), pictured with Samantha Fox, faces charges of animal cruelty. Guardian

The pair were part of a group in “exile” during part of the series, which meant they had meagre rations of rice and beans. A lack of meat apparently prompted the contestants to catch, kill and eat a rat.

D’Acampo, a 33-year-old chef, said in the show’s video diary, ‘The Bush Telegraph’: “I saw one of these rats running around. I got a knife, I got its throat, I picked it up.”
The group, including 30-year-old actor Manning, ate the rat.

Chief Inspector David Oshannessy, of the New South Wales RSPCA, said it was not acceptable that an animal had been killed as part of a performance.

“The allegation is that an animal was cruelly treated on the set,” he added. “It was a rat that was killed. There is a code of conduct in New South Wales that dictates how animals can be used. The killing of a rat for a performance is not acceptable.”

The charity sends staff whenever animals are used for filmed or live performances, he explained, and had been in contact with the programme’s producers before the rat was killed. When they were told what had happened, they decided to take action.

“Police from Murwillumbah ... issued field court attendance notices to two men aged 30 and 33 for the offence of animal cruelty,” a spokesman for New South Wales police said. “They are due to attend court at Murwillumbah local court on 3 February 2009.”