London, Feb 17 (ANI): A television chef has come under fire in Italy for suggesting that people should eat "tender, white cat meat".
Beppe Bigazzi, 77, a food expert on La Prova del Cuoco (The Cooks' Challenge), was suspended indefinitely after his 'cat-eating' suggestions on a national television channel.
"Leave it for three days under a stream or running water and you end up with a delight, I've eaten its delicious white meat many times," the Telegraph quoted Bigazzi, as saying.
He claimed on the programme that eating cats was quite an old tradition in Valdarno, a town near Florence.owever, the suggestion drew flack from animal rights groups, with the Italian Animal Protection Agency demanding Bigazzi be sacked.
But Bigazzi later said he had seen people eat cats in Tuscany in the 1930s and 1940s, during wartime food shortages, but he did not mean cats should still be eaten.
He said: "I was just talking about an old tradition."
Francesca Martini, a health minister, criticised the remarks as "offensive to the growing number of people who care about the way we treat animals."
She said killing and cooking cats was illegal and "despicable". (ANI)