I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! bosses have defended using animals in the bushtucker trials after the RSPCA expressed ‘serious concerns’ about animal welfare.
Last night’s episode saw Shane Richie and Jordan North locked inside a shallow pit with a bunch of snakes, while all the celebrities faced a barrage of bugs raining down on them on day one.
Ahead of the launch of this year’s series, the RSPCA published a statement voicing their worries. However, ITV producers insisted the show complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals.
‘We have serious concerns about the welfare of animals set to be featured on the new UK-based ‘I’m a Celebrity’ TV show,’ the animal charity said.
‘Since ‘I’m a Celebrity’ was first aired, animals have been dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences.
‘There have also been incidents where animals have been killed for no other purpose than entertainment.
‘The show’s messaging and the potential to prompt people to try and copy the bushtucker trials at home for entertainment is also worrying and we feel that deliberately portraying certain species as nasty or frightening or as objects that can be used purely for entertainment rather than sentient, living creatures sends out totally the wrong message.’
The RSPCA added that although they were ‘very pleased’ that I’m A Celebrity producers reached out in the planning stages of this year’s series, they are disappointed the show decided to keep using animals.
‘We spoke to them about changing the way they use animals along with the change of continent – perhaps introducing welfare-friendly alternatives to animal use in the trials,’ they continued.
‘However, we were really disappointed to be told that they would continue to be using animals in this way during this series. We know that many of you, the animal loving public, agree with us and really dislike the use of animals in this way.’
A spokesperson for I’m A Celebrity told Metro.co.uk: ‘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.
Credit: Original article published here.