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A restaurant owner has had a change of heart about killing cockroaches after facing a hefty fine. 

Michael Inman from the Canberra Times reported in early February that the owner of a popular ACT vegetarian restaurant was morally opposed to wiping out a cockroach infestation because it would have involved ‘killing little insects’.

The restaurant owner was recently fined $16,000 after ACT Health inspectors discovered the live and dead cockroaches in the kitchen in April 2013.

The threat to public health through contaminated food meant the inspectors shut the ‘unhygienic’ restaurant the next day.

The restaurant, which is still trading, has since fixed the problems and won awards for its vegetarian and vegan fare.

Court documents included pictures that show a number of live and dead cockroaches around the kitchen, including close to cooking equipment.

The restaurant was banned from selling food, but cleared to open six days later when the breaches had been corrected.

The restaurant owner attended an interview with the Health Protection Service in June 2013, where he admitted he had been aware of the cockroach infestation but did not carry out pest control measures as it involved ‘killing’.

He now brings in a pest control team on a regular basis and has appointed a food safety supervisor.