02/10/2013 06:54 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

'One Metre Rat Killed By Chinese Farmers': 5kg Beast Cooked & Eaten, Reports Claim (PICTURE)

This gruesome snap of a gigantic rat reportedly captured and killed by farmers in China is making stomach-churning rounds on the web.

With its tail as thick as a rope and its body as plump as a cat, the animal is alleged to have measured a meter in length and weighed 5kg, Shanghaiist says.

Citing Hunan-based Sanxiang Metropolis Daily, the publication says the animal had been "terrorising a Shaoyang county village and devouring fish whole" before its capture.

Ratzilla: The beast is reported to have weighed 5kg and measured a meter in length

It adds the behemoth was then served up as a snack... as is all the rage in Guangzhou, according to China Daily.

Despite warnings of health risks, restaurants in the region are enjoying a roaring trade in rat meat, which can be roasted, braised in soy sauce, stewed or cooked in soup.

But if you're gonna eat rat, you want to know about it.

In March, Chinese police bust a crime ring that passed off more than $1million in rat and small mammal meat as lamb.

More than 20,000 tonnes of fake or inferior meat products were seized after illegal food plants during the nationwide operation.