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Utah Rat Eater Has Animal Cruelty Charge Dismissed (VIDEO)

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Andy Ray Harris, moments after he shoveled a live, hairless rat into his mouth. | YouTube

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah man who is no longer facing charges for eating a live baby rat says the act was grotesque, but shouldn't be considered as animal cruelty.

Prosecutors charged Andy Ray Harris with animal cruelty in April, after authorities viewed a posted Facebook video of him eating what appeared to be the baby rat. The 31-year-old Tooele man says he ate the rat on a dare.

The 45-second video clip showed the hairless rat struggling on a sheet of paper until Harris picks it up and pops it into his mouth while a crowd cheered for him, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Prosecutors argued the baby rat deserved protections because it wasn't wild and it was killed in a way that is not an accepted fashion.

Harris says it was not animal cruelty because the rat was going to be eaten by a snake. He also says rats don't have legal protections because they are pests.

Last week, the judge dismissed the misdemeanor charges against Harris, The Tribune says.


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