I’m a celebrity: RSPCA receives record 17,000 complaints about animal treatment

The current series of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! has triggered a record number of complaints to the RSPCA about the use of live animals.

The reality TV show enters its final week with just six contestants remaining at camp and vying to be crowned king or queen of the jungle. You can see who has left the competition so far here.

Since it first started in 2002, the show has been known for its controversial use of animals such as insects, reptiles, fish, rats, and spiders.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it had received more than 17,000 complaints about the show this year, the most of any series.

RSPCA Executive Director Chris Sherwood said: “Unfortunately, we once again see many live animals on our television screens being placed in situations that could endanger their welfare for a quick laugh.

“We are also concerned about how the program portrays animals; There is a risk that their lives will be trivialized in favor of light ‘entertainment’.”

An ITV spokesman said The Independent: “We are always completely transparent about our protocols and we have a very strict environmental plan at the show.

“As a producer, we comply with all regional and national laws regarding the use of insects, animals and reptiles. Welfare and safety are always a top priority in all of our programs and we have qualified and experienced zookeepers on site at all times for any bushtucker animal experimentation.

“We keep the RSPCA NSW informed of all our activities at the show and they have an open invitation to visit the website at any time. We cannot stress enough that we have strict protocols in place to ensure animals are treated safely at all times, before, during and after filming, in accordance with all local and national laws.”

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Before the series began, animal rights organization Peta sent Ant and Dec an open letter challenging them I’m a celebrity’s treatment of animals.

Babatúndé Aléshé is surrounded by frogs during a challenge

(ITV)

In it, they asked the presenters to leave the show because of the “cruelty to animals” contained in the show.

“For too long you have been involved in animal cruelty on the show and this must end,” the organization wrote.

“The longer you associate with this show, the more you send the message to viewers that you find animal cruelty not only acceptable, but entertaining.”

The letter claimed that “public attitudes” towards the use of animals on screen had changed “significantly” in recent years and quoted the more than 50,000 people who supported Peta’s petition urging ITV to ” abuse” of animals on the show.

10,000 people reportedly complained to Ofcom in 2021 about the use of animals on the show.

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

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/im-a-celeb-animals-rspca-complaints-b2232281.html I’m a celebrity: RSPCA receives record 17,000 complaints about animal treatment

JOE HERNANDEZ

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