Broadcaster: Sorry for rat-eating episode

December 7, 2009 10:18:13 AM PST
British broadcaster ITV has apologized after two contestants on a reality TV show skinned, cooked and ate a rat during filming. Chef Gino D'Acampo and actor Stuart Manning have been charged with animal cruelty after preparing and eating rat risotto on the wilderness show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" last month.

They were charged after complaints by animal welfare activists in Australia, where the show is filmed. The maximum penalty is three years in prison.

ITV said Monday that producers had sought health and safety advice about eating the rat but had failed to check whether killing it was legal.

The broadcaster said it apologized, "and will put in place procedures for next year's series to ensure that this cannot happen again."