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Ukrainian cat-eating couple jailed for cruelty to animals

MOSCOW, June 24 (RIA Novosti) - A couple who ate at least 15 cats in the central Ukrainian city of Poltava have been sentenced to four months in prison for cruelty to animals, national media reported on Tuesday.

Last year, the couple's neighbors began filing complaints to the police, saying that a number of cats had gone missing in the area. An investigation revealed that 51-year-old unemployed Nikolay Penkovsky and his wife had been regularly eating cats.

"Neither my wife nor I have a permanent job, and we are often short of money - we had to eat stray cats to survive," Nikolay said in an interview with the MIGnews portal shortly after being arrested.

The couple admitted killing and eating 15 cats. Police found cat bones strewn about their apartment.

"We killed only stray cats. Boiled them, like any other meat, adding salt, pepper and bay leaves - that the recipe," Nikolay was quoted by the agency as saying. "Of course, it has its own unique flavor, but in general - it's just meat."

A number of witnesses claim that the couple used to sell dead cats as rabbit meat to local restaurants. Investigators have been unable to verify the allegations, however.

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