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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Fine for Australian mouse chewer
An Australian man has been fined A$750 ($537) for chewing the tail off a live mouse in a pub competition.

Brisbane Magistrates Court was told that Tony McGee, 22, was so drunk at the time that he was in shock when he later learned what he had done.

An animal welfare charity has lodged an appeal, saying the fine is inadequate and calling for a A$5,000 penalty.

The Brisbane hotel where the contest took place has condemned it, and has pledged it will not happen again.

Defence lawyer Ben Power said McGee, who pleaded guilty to being cruel to an animal, had been given a A$100 drinking voucher by the organisers of the competition beforehand and had drunk bourbon and beer for six hours.

"He would like to stress that he is very sorry about what has occurred," Mr Power said.

Robbie Gundelach, 21, the organiser of the competition, was fined A$1,250 and ordered to pay A$300 in court costs.

Extreme dares

"Jackass promotion" - named after a US TV stunt show - took place on Wednesdays at the Exchange Hotel in Brisbane and involved undertaking dares.

McGee had also set off a mouse trap with his tongue, eaten a cup of maggots, sucked up chillies through a straw, drunk a pint of anchovies and downed a pint of mouthwash, according to Mr Power.

Another man who allegedly chewed a mouse in the competition, Shane Gill, has yet to be charged. The men were competing to win a holiday.

On leaving court on Tuesday he was asked if he had any advice for other competitors.

"Don't eat mice," the Australian Associated Press quoted him as saying.

The maximum sentence for cruelty to animals under Queensland laws is a A$75,000 fine or two years in jail.

Australians chew mice to win holiday
11 Jun 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Boy burnt in TV-inspired prank
21 Apr 04  |  Lancashire

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