ITV responds as The Chase spin-off is criticised over dolphin scene

Chris Edwards
·2-min read
Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

ITV has issued a response after The Chase's new spin-off show was criticised for filming its stars swimming with captive dolphins.

The premiere of The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles saw Anne Hegerty, Shaun Wallace and Mark Labbett pay a visit to the Dolphin Research Centre in Florida, before getting into the water with the animals.

The scenes have since sparked complaints from animal rights charities, claiming that such activity can cause the dolphins unnecessary stress.

Photo credit: Boundless Productions / ITV
Photo credit: Boundless Productions / ITV

Related: The Chase's Anne Hegerty has on-air tiff with Bradley Walsh over cheating

An RSPCA spokesman said: "We were disappointed to see animals being used in this way on The Chasers Road Trip. Swimming with dolphins may seem appealing to holidaymakers but we know that in reality they often have restricted space and can find swimming with people all day very stressful.

"Keeping dolphins and whales captive deprives them of some of the most basic freedoms and causes them unacceptable levels of stress and suffering. Captivity cannot provide for their needs and they can live shortened lives."

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

In response to the complaints made about the episode, ITV said in a statement: "There is no endorsement of mistreatment of animals in this programme.

"As the show makes clear to viewers, it sets out to challenge and enlighten our understanding of animal intelligence and does so in a way that prompts the Chasers to reflect on the ways animals are treated by humans within our cultures and ask whether this should change.

"The Dolphin Research Centre where filming took place is a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, the international accrediting body for marine parks, aquariums, zoos and research facilities."

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

The statement continued: "Alliance-accredited institutions are the gold standard in marine mammal care at which animal experts dedicate their lives to the well-being of the animals in their care and to the rescue and rehabilitation of marine animals in need of help.

"Louie, one of the dolphins who appeared in the programme, was rescued at a young age after being impacted by an oil spill while in the wild and has since had to remain at the facility, having been too young to develop hunting and social skills to survive in the wild."

The Chasers Road Trip: Trains, Brains and Automobiles continues Thursday (January 28) at 9pm on ITV.

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