April 6, 2009

Poland accuses actor of animal abuse

An actor was taken to a court in Poland charged with killing and eating a lobster and then drowning a hamster on a theater stage, a report said.

Spanish actor and director Rodrigo Garcia, performing at the 13th Annual Europe Theater Prize in the southwestern city of Wroclaw, was accused of torturing, killing and eating a lobster Thursday and drowning a hamster Friday, the Polish New.pl website said Monday.

The Wroclaw Animal protection service brought Garcia to the court for animal abuse, saying the actor hanged a lobster on a string, stabbed it with a sharp object and waited for it to die slowly, as 150 spectators listened to the heartbeats of the dying lobster displayed on an amplifier, the report said.

Garcia performed a similar play with a hamster the next day.

Arguing before the court his 25-minute one-man play, dubbed Accidents: Killing for Food, was artistic performance, Garcia said he has never had any problem anywhere with authorities for performing the act.

Garcia said the Polish Veterinary office had agreed to his use of live animals during the two performances.