I’m A Celebrity hit with 71,000 'complaints' over animal welfare on show | The Sun

I’M A Celebrity Me Out Of Here! has received 71,000 complaints over the use of live animals in its Bushtucker Trials.

The RSPCA has received 17,000 complaints from viewers over animals being used in the challenges.

And animal charity PETA has been inundated with 54,000 complaints over animal welfare.

This year's series of the show has seen reptiles, spiders, eels and a variety of other critters used for the trials.

The celebrities must compete in the challenges to win food for the camp or else they must subsist on a diet of rice and beans.

The show has used animals in its trials since its first series back in 2002 but many viewers are unhappy with it.


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Last year's show reportedly saw more than 13,000 complaints over the use of animals with the RSPCA saying they are 'concerned' with the way I'm A Celebrity 'portrays' animals.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “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'.

“With people discussing how scared they are, and animals portrayed in such a negative light, this programme is a long way from the RSPCA's vision of a world where all animals are respected and treated with kindness and compassion.

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“And now that animal sentience – the ability of animals to have positive and negative experiences like pain, distress or pleasure – is recognised in UK law, portraying live animals to UK viewers in this way in I'm a Celebrity is out of sync with this progressive step back home.

“We've previously urged the production company behind I'm a Celebrity to think again – and entertain the animal-loving UK public without resorting to anti-animal Bushtucker Trials; and now thousands of supporters have written to ITV Viewer Services to back us too.”

He said: “It's encouraging that a record 17,000 of our supporters have already written to ITV this year to air their views.

“We believe it is very possible to produce this programme without compromising the welfare of animals, so urge all those connected with 'I'm a Celebrity' to re-think and update this show in line with public opinion.”

PETA sent an open letter to Ant, 46, and Dec, 47, calling on the pair to quit the show.

The organisation's Vice President of Programmes Elisa Allen, has penned a letter accusing hosts Ant and Dec of being "complicit in cruelty to animals" – and began a petition to end the use of critters.

The letter reads: "For 20 years, you have been complicit in the 'bushtucker trials', standing by as animals of all descriptions are tormented – and even killed – for TV ratings.

"In this time, you must surely have become aware of the suffering, discomfort, and fear that these unwilling participants endure during the challenges. Ostriches, crocodiles, snakes, rats, and thousands of insects have been exploited for the show’s puerile pranks – and we fear that the upcoming series will be no different."

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The letter then urges the pair to make the upcoming All Stars series their last to “signal to the show’s producers that people aren’t going to stand for senseless cruelty to animals anymore and that it’s time to change".

PETA said a petition calling on ITV bosses to "stop abusing animals" on I'm A Celeb has received more than 54,000 signatures on its website.

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