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    • The RSPCA said they have ‘serious concerns’ about the use of live animals in the Bushtucker Trials as the series takes place in the UK this year for the first time 
    • The charity said bosses had been in touch with them prior to the series airing but they were disappointed to learn they would still be using animals 
    • They added: ‘However, we were really disappointed to be told that they would continue to be using animals in this way during this series’ 
    • The RSPCA added they would continue to put pressure on ITV and the show’s producers to ‘rethink’ the way animals are used on the programme
    • A spokesperson for the show said: ‘I’m A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices’ 

    I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here has been criticised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals just days into the new series.

    The RSPCA has said they have ‘serious concerns’ about the use of live animals in the Bushtucker Trials as the series takes place in the UK this year for the first time. 

    On Monday’s episode, Jordan North and Shane Richie both took part in The Viper Vault trial with dozens of snakes.

    Concerned: I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here has been criticised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals just days into the new series

    On Sunday, several campers participated in the Gates To Hell trial which saw them showered with cockroaches, mealworms and crickets.

    The RSPCA released a statement, saying: ‘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.’

    Criticism: The RSPCA has said they have 'serious concerns' about the use of live animals in the Bushtucker Trials as the series takes place in the UK this year for the first time

    Criticism: The RSPCA has said they have ‘serious concerns’ about the use of live animals in the Bushtucker Trials as the series takes place in the UK this year for the first time

    The charity added that show bosses had been in touch with them prior to the series airing but they were disappointed to learn they would still be using animals.

    They said: ‘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. 

    ‘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. 

    The RSPCA said: 'Animals have been dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences'

    The RSPCA said: ‘Animals have been dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences’

    ‘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.’

    The RSPCA added they would continue to put pressure on ITV and the show’s producers to ‘rethink’ the way animals are used on the programme.

    They said: ‘We’ll be watching the programme and will flag up any concerns we have to the producers.

    ‘Unfortunately, a number of the animals used in the challenges, such as cockroaches and crickets, are invertebrates and aren’t covered by the Animal Welfare Act or the Performing Animals Act, which apply in Wales. 

    They added: The show's messaging and the potential to prompt people to try and copy the "Bushtucker Trials" at home for entertainment is also worrying'

    They added: The show’s messaging and the potential to prompt people to try and copy the “Bushtucker Trials” at home for entertainment is also worrying’

    ‘This means they have little protection under the law. However, if we’re alerted to concerns about other animals which are covered by these laws being caused suffering or distress during this programme, we’ll look into this, and, where appropriate, investigate. Where we can act, we will.’  

    The RSPCA encouraged viewers who take issue with the way animals are used on the show to contact Ofcom or ITV directly. 

    A spokesperson for the programme told the Daily Star: ‘I’m A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices.’

    MailOnline has also contacted representatives for I’m A Celebrity for comment.  

    Statement: A spokesperson for I'm A Celebrity said: 'I'm A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices'

    Statement: A spokesperson for I’m A Celebrity said: ‘I’m A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices’

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