Belfast Telegraph

No action on Ramore Portrush by council over killing of rat in crowded restaurant

Eatery: Ramore Wine Bar
Eatery: Ramore Wine Bar
Victoria Leonard

By Victoria Leonard

Council animal welfare officers and a vet who studied video footage of a rat being killed at the Ramore Wine Bar have concluded that no offence occurred.

It came after shocked customers described seeing the rodent being crushed underfoot in front of families and children in the popular Portrush eatery on Tuesday night and recalled how blood "squirted everywhere".

After the footage went viral on social media, members of the public and the Northern Ireland Says No to Animal Cruelty group slammed the manner in which the creature was killed.

However, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council won't be taking any action.

"Officers from council's animal welfare service have reviewed the video footage, in conjunction with a veterinary surgeon," it said.

"Council would conclude no offence under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 has occurred."

Ballymena woman Alexs Wallace (25), who was in the wine bar, previously told this newspaper how the creature had leapt into her lap before being trapped and crushed.

She said: "I screamed and bolted and they proceeded to trap the rat with the brush and crush it in front of everyone with the heel of their shoe.

"There were kids screaming their heads off and blood squirted everywhere."

The council said that its environmental health officers had visited the Ramore Wine Bar earlier this week, and after a "thorough inspection of the premises, particularly food preparation areas and food stores" they had found no evidence of a rodent infestation.

It added: "Environmental health staff will continue to monitor the situation, liaising with the pest control contractor and restaurant management on pest control matters and will not hesitate in taking action to protect human health if required.

"Officers are of the opinion that emergency closure of the premises is not warranted at this time, however we will continue to monitor the situation."

Daniel Barclay from the animal welfare group said he was disappointed by the council's stance.

He added: "The video was very difficult to watch. I was angry and disgusted.

"When they had the rat pinned there were options. They could have got something to secure the rat and release it outside, or at least dispatch it much quicker.

"From our perspective, there was unnecessary suffering."

The Ramore was contacted for a comment.

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