And finally… of mice and men

A freezer containing 235 dormice to be eaten by the Mafia was discovered by police at a farm in Italy.

The discovery at the site in Delianuova in Calabria, home to the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, was made by officers as they seized 730 illegal marijuana plants.

Many other live mice were found in a cage – where they were being fattened up for consumption.

In Italy, dormice are protected by law. It is illegal to hunt or capture them.

“Investigations have shown they are common at ‘Ndrangheta banquets and are put on the table when agreements must be reached, or peace pacts between clans must be made,” said Ciro Troiano, an expert with the Italian animal protection society Lav.

Serving the animals is deemed a sign of respect for guests.

“You need a good stomach. Dormice don’t weigh much but they are wild animals and the smell is heavy,” La Repubblica newspaper reported.

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