A cooking show host who shocked viewers by saying he enjoyed cat stew and had eaten it many times was suspended by Italian state TV today.
Beppe Bigazzi, the 77-year-old host of a popular morning programme that offers food tips and recipes, said the dish was a popular Tuscan delicacy.
When a young woman appearing on the show was startled by him revealing he has eaten cat stew, he defended his culinary tastes, noting Italians eat rabbit, chicken and pigeons.
Horsemeat is also sold in Italian shops.
Among critics was Health Ministry Under-secretary Francesca Martini, who said that Italian law protects pets against mistreatment.
She said Bignazzi’s comments flew in the face of growing public sensibility toward animals.