Charges dismissed for baby rat eater

Oct. 6, 2011 at 4:30 AM

TOOLE, Utah, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A Utah judge dismissed an animal cruelty charge against a man depicted eating a baby rat in a video posted to YouTube.

Third District Court Judge Robert Adkins dismissed the misdemeanor charge against Andy Harris, 31, of Toole, who was charged in May after the YouTube video was seen by prosecutors, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

Harris told police his friends had dared him to eat the live rat.

Lawyers for Harris argued in court papers that "rats have been a scourge to humanity and should have no legal protections," and "since this rat was destined to be eaten by a snake anyway, it made no difference" for it to be eaten.

Prosecutors argued the rat was a domesticated animal and "eating a live, baby rat on a dare is not an accepted husbandry practice."

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