Ex-Hollyoaks actor quizzed over rat killed on I’m a Celebrity FORMER Hollyoaks star Stuart Manning is facing charges of animal cruelty after eating a rat killed on a reality show.
Australian police quizzed the actor after the incident on ITV’s popular I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here.
Manning was with the show’s eventual winner, chef Gino D’Acampo, when they were exiled on meagre rations.
The lack of meat prompted them to cook and eat the rat to boost the supplies of rice and beans they were given.
D’Acampo, 33, said in the show’s video diary room, 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 Manning, 30, ate the rat and enjoyed the meal.
Chief Inspector David Oshannessy from the RSPCA in New South Wales, said it was not acceptable that an animal was killed as part of a performance.
He said: “The allegation is that an animal was cruelly treated on the set. 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.”
He said the charity sends its staff whenever animals are used for filmed or live performances and they had been in contact with the show’s producers before the rat was killed.
When they were told what happened, they decided to take action.
A New South Wales police spokesman said: “Police yesterday issued field court attendance notices to two men aged 30 and 33 for the offence of animal cruelty.
“They are due to attend Murwillumbah local court on February 3.”
Chef Antony Worrall Thompson who appeared on the show in 2003, said the show’s producers should take some of the responsibility.
ITV was unavailable for comment. THE ECHO