TV presenter Chris Packham has written an open letter to Ant and Dec asking them to end “abuse of animals” in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The duo preside over the show’s “bushtucker trials”, in which contestants eat live insects, or endure close encounters with creepy crawlies.
Writing in the Radio Times, Springwatch presenter Packham described the trials as “out of date” and “silly”.
The award-winning ITV series is set to return on Sunday.
Packham said that teaching young viewers that killing for “exploitative ‘entertainment’ is acceptable” is “a shame that I imagine neither of you will want to take to your graves”.
He wrote: “The problem is that animals such as snakes, spiders, crocodiles, rats and many invertebrates are already misunderstood and thus unfortunately vilified, despite the incredibly important roles they play in the world’s ecosystems and our lives.
“By orchestrating a fear of them among your contestants, I’m afraid you’re reinforcing and exaggerating a terrible ignorance and intolerance of these remarkable animals.”
Packham was also dismissive of the programme’s use of consultants to advise on animal welfare, saying: “I can guarantee that some animals are harmed during production, because they are fragile or easily stressed. Or simply killed, as they are in your bushtucker trials.”
He added: “The show has been running for years now. Surely it’s time for it to mature, for you to accept that, as pillars of the British broadcasting community, you should put an end to this inhumane, embarrassing and destructive aspect of an otherwise great show.”
Packham also said the eating of invertebrates and animal body parts such as eyes and testes made a mockery of the needs of those from some cultures who have no choice but to eat such …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment