More than 300 complaints for Scared Of The Dark over use of live rabbit

Viewers weren't happy about the bunny being used in a challenge

Scared Of The Dark tasked the celebrities with touching a live rabbit in a box. (Channel 4)
Scared Of The Dark tasked the celebrities with touching a live rabbit in a box. (Channel 4)

Scared Of The Dark has received more than 300 complaints over a rabbit being used in one of its episodes.

The Channel 4 show – which saw celebs including former footballer Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne and Gogglebox's Scarlett Moffatt living together in a dark bunker – came under fire after a challenge that saw contestants identifying items in boxes by touching and feeling them.

The rabbit was in one of the boxes and could be seen cowering in the corner as the stars tried to work out what it was.

Read more: Scared Of The Dark fans beg Channel 4 for second series

And Ofcom has now confirmed that it received 302 complaints about the episode, which aired on 18 April.

The broadcasting watchdog told Yahoo that the complaints related to concerns about the welfare of the rabbit.

Scared of the Dark contestants Max Geroge and Chris Eubank with the boxes containing items including raw sausage and a rabbit. (Channel 4)
More than 300 people complained. (Channel 4)

Many viewers took to Twitter after the instalment aired to share their thoughts on the rabbit being used, with one calling it "horrible".

“I’m enjoying this show but using a rabbit for this task is wrong,” said another.

“That was uncomfortable to watch, seeing them poke and grab at a poor rabbit in pitch black darkness."

“That poor rabbit," said somebody else.

"The way they grabbed and prodded it. They shouldn’t have put an animal in this when they can’t see it."

Animal rights group PETA also weighed in on the use of the live rabbit in the show, which was hosted by Danny Dyer.

Paul Gascoigne is among the celebs living in the bunker on Scared of the Dark. (Channel 4)
Paul Gascoigne won Scared Of The Dark. (Channel 4)

Spokesperson Elisa Allen told Yahoo UK: "This rabbit isn’t a toy, a prop, or a thing and should not be subjected to this juvenile, uninformed, and disgustingly insensitive little stunt, which needs to be scrapped instantly.

Read more: Scared Of The Dark fans declare Paul Gascoigne 'worthy winner'

"As prey animals, being groped and poked by strangers would have been a terrifying experience, and Scared of the Dark should be ashamed of exploiting rabbits for views.”

Scared Of The Dark ended last week, with Gascoigne being declared the winner.

Watch: Paul Gascoigne hints at I'm A Celeb stint