I'm A Celebrity gets 'record number' of complaints over use of animals
The RSPCA has said there have been a record 17,000 complaints over the use of animals on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
The ITV show – which frequently sees celebrities showered with insects, lying in confined spaces with them and eating stomach-churning dishes like fish eyes and sheep brains – has often come under fire for its use of critters in its Bushtucker trials.
And the animal welfare charity suggested things have hit a high this year.
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The Daily Mail quoted RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood as saying: “Sadly, we are once again seeing many live animals on our TV screens put in situations that could compromise their welfare for a quick laugh.
“We are also concerned at the way the programme portrays animals; it risks trivialising their lives for the sake of light 'entertainment'."
Sherwood said the charity had previously called on the show to have a re-think and that it was possible to produce I'm A Celeb without compromising the welfare of animals.
He said "a record 17,000 of our supporters" had written to ITV Viewer Services, which he said was “encouraging”.
The organisation Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has also spoken out about the use of animals on the show, launching a campaign calling on the programme to make changes.
An I'm A Celebrity spokesperson told Yahoo: “We are always fully transparent about our protocols and we have a very strict environmental plan in place on the show.
“As a production, we comply with all regional and national laws concerning the use of insects, animals and reptiles.
“Welfare and safety is always the primary priority on any of our programmes, and at any Bushtucker trial that features animals, we have qualified and experienced animal handlers on site at all times.
“We inform the RSPCA NSW of all of our activities on the show and they have an open invitation to attend the site at any time.
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“We cannot stress enough that we have rigorous protocols in place to ensure that animals are handled safely at all times, before, during and after any filming has taken place, in compliance with all regional and national laws.”
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