I’m A Celebrity bosses hit back after RSCPA raise ‘serious concerns’ over animal welfare

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I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is well underway with 10 stars settling into Gwrych Castle in North Wales desperately trying their best to earn as many meals as they can. On Sunday night’s launch show, the celebrities were showered with critters while on Monday night, Shane Richie and Jordan North entered vaults with snakes. However, the RSCPA has raised “serious concerns” over the use of animals in the Bushtucker Trials.

After the celebrities were covered with cockroaches, mealworms and crickets, the RSPCA shared a statement addressing the treatment of live animals for “no other purpose than entertainment”.

They posted: “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.”

They added they are concerned viewers will perform their own trials at home and harm animals.

“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,” they added.

“Throughout the years, we’ve been raising our concerns with the production company about how animals were being treated on the Australia-based programme, but we never received a response from the show.

“We were very pleased when the show’s production company got in touch with us in the planning stages of this year’s series, set here in the UK.”

The RSPCA said they have spoken to the show about “changing the way they use animals along with the change of continent”.

But they were “really disappointed” to hear animals would continue to be used in live Bushtucker Trials.

They concluded: “”We know that many of you, the animal loving public, agree with us and really dislike the use of animals in this way.”

Now I’m A Celebrity bosses have hit back insisting they are complying with animal welfare law.

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They 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.”

Meanwhile, Jordan’s pal and BBC Radio 1 colleague Nick Grimshaw has admitted he’s surprised he signed up to the show as he’s “scared of everything”.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he remarked: “But Jordan is genuinely scared of everything.

“Last night, when I found out he was going to be locked in a vault with snakes, I was like, ‘He won’t do this.’

“He even is scared at the lifts at Radio 1. He won’t get into the lift.

“He will walk up eight floors, the lifts are scary. Why he’s gone on I’m A Celebrity, I don’t know.”

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues tonight on ITV at 9.15pm

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