Rats, RSPCA kills case

ANIMAL cruelty charges against two British celebrities who were accused of killing a rat for television were officially dropped at Murwillumbah Local Court yesterday.

Stuart Manning and Gennaro D’Acampo escaped any convictions or fines for their role in killing, then cooking the rat for I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here, which is filmed at Tomewin.

RSPCA New South Wales recommended the charges be dropped, after ITV Studios was convicted and fined a total of $5576 for the same incident.

Chief Inspector David O’Shannessy said the RSPCA was satisfied with the February 8 conviction of the television company for committing an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal at Downing Centre Local Court.

“The conviction confirmed that the manner in which the rat was killed, in association with the production of I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here was unacceptable, in that while animals can be killed and prepared for human consumption, this must be done in a manner that inflicts no unnecessary pain, distress or suffering on the subject animal,” Mr O’Shannessy said.

“Given the conviction of ITV Studios and the circumstances surrounding the incident the RSPCA is not proceeding with the charges against D’Acampo and Manning.”

Neither of the celebrities returned to Murwillumbah to face the charges.

They were represented in court by solicitors yesterday, as they had been at the case’s first mention on February 3.

Celebrity chef D’Acampo, who won the show, and soap star Manning killed the rat and turned it into a risotto for other contestants on the show, who had been surviving on a meagre diet of rice and beans.

“It was the best recipe Iever did,” D’Acampo said afterwards.

Have you got a great rat recipe? If you have, email it to james.perkins@tweednews.com.au.

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