Police were called to a wild party in York when neighbours complained about the noise level, which was then broken up by the officers at the scene. It was then that a grisly discovery was made of a hamster on the dead on the kitchen cooker in a frying pan.

An investigation into whether the animal was alive or dead before it was cooked is now taking place with the joint cooperation of the RSPCA.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said ‘A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. He has been released on bail while inquiries continue.’

Since 2007’s Animal Welfare Act pet owners are under obligation by law to care for their animals properly and protect them from harm. Offenders face prison sentences, community service and heavy fines for breaking the law.