It was previously reported the reality show was under police investigation over its use of various bugs in trials.
Police have offered “advice” to I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! bosses, following claims the show was under investigation over its use of non-native insects.
Earlier in the week, The Guardian reported that police had been investigating the long-running programme over its use of certain species of bugs, including cockroaches, maggots, spiders and worms.
The newspaper claimed that I’m A Celebrity had potentially breached the Wildlife and Countryside Act if it failed to get a licence for the release of the insects.
A North Wales Police spokesperson has now said: “North Wales Police and Natural Resources Wales have received information regarding the potential release of non-native species into ‘non studio’ areas, and we have given suitable advice to the production team regarding their set management and biosecurity.”
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Wednesday: “We worked carefully with the production company to make sure that all the rules are being observed.
“If there have been some infringement then it’s right that they are investigated. We would be concerned about non-native species being released.”
Prior to this, an I’m A Celebrity spokesperson had insisted: “All of the insects used on I’m A Celebrity are non-invasive species. They are only ever released in a contained area and collected immediately after filming.
“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.”
I’m A Celebrity has long come under fire from animal rights activists due to the nature of some of its trials, with the show making the decision to axe the eating of living creatures ahead of last year’s series.
A representative for the RSPCA said in a statement earlier in the series: “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.
“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.”
In response, ITV said (via Digital Spy): “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.”
News Source: Huff Post UK