I’m a Celebrity condemned by RSPCA over ‘killing animals for entertainment’

Charity has ‘serious concerns’ about Bushtucker trials

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 17 November 2020 08:47
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ITV has defended I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! after the show was condemned by the RSPCA for its use of animals in Bushtucker trials.

On Sunday’s launch show (15 November), celebrities were showered with cockroaches, mealworms and crickets.

And the following day, BBC Radio 1 DJ Jordan North and former EastEnders star Shane Richie took part in the Viper Vault trial, in which they were covered in dozens of snakes.

The RSPCA has said it was “really disappointed” to be told by producers the infamous challenges are happening in the usual way this year, despite the show moving to Wales where UK regulations are in place. The series could not be filmed in Australia as it is every other year because of Covid-19 restrictions.

The charity said over the years, animals had been “dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences”.

It added that animals had been killed for “no other purpose than entertainment”.

The RSPCA also criticised the show for “deliberately portraying certain species as nasty or frightening or as objects that can be used purely for entertainment rather than sentient, living creatures”.

An ITV spokesman said: “I'm A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices.

“We have a long working relationship with the RSPCA in New South Wales, Australia, and as such contacted their counterparts some months ago when we knew that the programme would be made in the UK, with a view to working collaboratively with them.”

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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