I'm A Celebrity: Police investigation underway over bugs

I'm A Celebrity: Police investigation underway over bugs

November 25, 2020

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is under police investigation over claims bugs could have escaped into the Welsh countryside during filming.

Police are said to be investigating the series over its use of non-native species of bugs including cockroaches, maggots, spiders and worms, according to The Guardian.

The newspaper claimed the show had potentially breached the Wildlife and Countryside Act if it failed to get a licence for the release of the insects.

It comes after EastEnders star Shane Richie faced 200 spiders during his trial last night.

An I’m A Celebrity spokesperson said all of the insects used during the programme are ‘non-invasive species’.

‘They are only ever released in a contained area and collected immediately after filming,’ they continued.

‘The bugs are UK-bred and are commercially purchased in the UK for birds and exotic animal feed for pets and zoo keepers in normal circumstances.

‘Our insects have been donated to local wildlife sanctuaries, trusts and zoos for their exotic animal and bird feed after filming.’

A spokesperson for north Wales police added: ‘The matter is being investigated by officers from our rural crime team.’

This year’s I’m A Celebrity is being filmed in Wales rather than its usual location in Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A range of insects have been used during the programme’s notoriously unpleasant trials which have seen large quantities of bugs dumped onto the celebrities as they take part in challenges.

Welsh naturalist and BBC Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams raised questions over the programme’s use of the creatures.

‘As well as the moral issue of using wild animals for entertainment, surely there are huge ecological issues here also,’ they tweeted.

Last week, I’m A Celebrity bosses defended using animals in the trials after the RSPCA expressed ‘serious concerns’ about animal welfare.

A spokesperson for I’m A Celebrity 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.’

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! continues tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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