02 December 2020 18:31
has been relocated to Gwrych Castle in North Wales this year, meaning the ITV reality show contestants taking part haven't had to face the exotic creepy crawlies they would have had to if they were in the jungle. A spokesperson for the RSPCA has revealed the number of complaints against the use of live animals and insects in trials has significantly increased since the show began airing in the UK last month. Chief executive of the campaign group Chris Sherwood explained animal science experts have been watching the programme carefully and "have witnessed invertebrates being crushed, animals mishandled in small, enclosed spaces, and snakes locked in vaults with contestants." After claiming this would cause "fear and distress" to the life forms, he added: "People are increasingly aware of animal sentience - and the feelings of happiness and distress animals can experience. "We're really worried that using animals in this way sends a troubling message that their lives can be easily disregarded for quick entertainment." The animal rights activist went on to tell MailOnline he hopes bosses will pay attention to viewers' plights and "end the use of live creatures." READ MORE: I'm A Celebrity fans outraged by Russell Watson's Trial slip-up I'm A Celebrity backlash: ITV hit by 11k Ofcom complaints over 'troubling welfare' message I'm A Celebrity 2020 stars have been facing trials with live creatures featured This isn't the first time animal welfare has been the cause of contention this series, with the local authorities becoming involved in the matter. North Wales Police had reportedly been contacted by viewers over the use of cockroaches, maggots, spiders and worms within the trials.
This was brought to the authorities attention as there were complaints about whether said insects would threaten the wildlife already living around the castle. I'm A Celebrity 2020 viewers have not been impressed with the use of live creatures However, ITV did respond to this and explained the "non-invasive species" of creatures were only ever released into a confined space before being collected and stored safely after the filming of the trials had been completed. "Our insects have been donated to local wildlife sanctuaries, trusts and zoos for their exotic animal and bird feed after filming," they continued. ITV bosses have found themselves on the end of intense criticism after the RSPCA revealed there had been a huge clamour for the producers to curb the use of live creatures 'as a commodity for entertainment.' I'm a Celebrity bosses are under pressure to stop using live animals in trials after nearly 11,000 viewers lodged complaints, MailOnline can reveal A senior programme source told MailOnline animal welfare was a key part of planning, saying: 'The operator that we use for the programme has extensive experience in the care of animals for the film and television industry... Animal lovers have inundated the RSPCA with a record number of protests against celebrities 'cruelly' using live creatures for entertainment during the programme's popular trials, which have included insects being devoured in the past An ITV spokesman added: 'I'm A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals.' RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood told MailOnline: 'The RSPCA remains very concerned about the welfare of animals featured on this year's 'I'm a Celebrity', and we've seen huge concern from our supporters and so many people passionate about animals.
'Our animal science experts have been monitoring the show - and have witnessed invertebrates being crushed, animals mishandled in small, enclosed spaces, and snakes locked in vaults with contestants - likely to be causing them fear and distress. 'While many of the invertebrate animals featured in the show are not protected by law, we're really worried that using animals in this way sends a troubling message that their lives can be easily disregarded for quick entertainment. 'We hope ITV will listen to animal lovers across the UK - by stopping the use of live creatures on the show.' North Wales Police is also said to be investigating the show over its use cockroaches, maggots, spiders and worms, after complaints the species could threaten wildlife in the area around Gwrych Castle, near Abergele. Ew: Although the consumption of live insects was stopped last year, viewers have been upset at critters being thrown onto contestants as well as rats being used in scenes But ITV says the insects used on I'm A Celebrity are non-invasive species and are only ever released in a contained area and collected immediately after filming. Vets have also slammed 'I'm a Celebrity' over the use of animals on the hit series. '(This is) despite the high volume of Ofcom complaints and this being an issue that BVA and other animal welfare organisations have voiced serious concerns about in the past. Troubles: Vets have also slammed 'I'm a Celebrity' over the use of animals on the hit series 'The way that the show currently uses snakes, rats and other animals in trials is both cruel and stressful for them, and these scenarios are not meeting all of their animal welfare needs.