Man could face jail for swallowing live goldfish on YouTube

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A man who swallowed his pet goldfish live on YouTube is being investigated for animal cruelty by the RSPCA.

In the video Louis Cole, aged 28, from Roehampton, is seen taking the 10cm/4" fish from its bowl and putting it into his mouth, then biting down and swallowing it, before commenting: "That was really, really bitter – the most bitter thing I've ever eaten."

Cole has also been filmed eating a live tarantula and a scorpion, along with some dead mice which he blended into a paste and then drank. The RSPCA, while condemning his actions, were unable to launch an investigation until the goldfish incident, which Cole posted onto YouTube a fortnight ago, because the live animals he had eaten beforehand were invertebrates, and so he wasn't breaking the law.

A letter was sent to Cole by the RSPCA, stating that it needed to interview him regarding an allegation that he may have committed a criminal offence contrary to section nine and four of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

It added: "If we cannot speak to you on a voluntary basis, you give us no choice than to request the police arrest you in order to interview you."

He posted the letter on his Facebook page, asking friends to give him advice.

If prosecuted, he could face a fine of £20,000 or up to six months in prison.

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