London: A man in the US state of Utah has been charged with animal cruelty after he allegedly ate a live baby rat and posted the video on Facebook, a news report said.
In the video, Andy Ray Harris, 31, from Tooele, Utah, appears to put a tiny, hairless rat in his mouth, before chewing and swallowing it. The video appears to show a small rodent, two to three inches long, lying on top of a notepad.
In fact, Harris picks up the creature, puts it in his mouth, chews and takes a drink through a straw in a giant mug, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
He was charged with the offence in April after police were alerted to the footage online by charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
PETA's Martin Mersereau said the organisation received complaints from horrified viewers about the video in March.
Authorities say they recognised the man in the video as Harris as he had previously been known to police in relation to other incidents.
Harris pleaded not guilty to the charges of aggravated animal abuse during a brief hearing before Judge Robert Adkins. He made no comment when leaving court.
Story first published:
June 22, 2011 15:01 IST