The British Veterinary Association has sent an open letter to the producers of ITV reality series ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, voicing concerns about the welfare of animals used on the show.
The issues raised include the apparent mistreatment of a pair of snakes during a task on the most recent series.
Contestant Emily Atack was seen putting her hand into a closed box containing two snakes that appeared to immediately show strong signs of distress. One of the snakes was then trhown out to the floor.
In the letter, BVA highlights several other moments in the show over the years where it says animals are showing signs of anxiety or stress or where the five animal welfare needs (laid out in the Animal Welfare Act of 2006) are not met.
Daniella Dos Santos, BVA junior vice president and a small animal and exotic pet vet, said: “At this time in the year, ITV will probably be starting to line up their next batch of contestants for 2019, but they should put just as much time and effort into considering the welfare needs of all the animals that appear on the show.
“We’re particularly keen to get some answers on whether vets are on hand on set to ensure that animals are treated appropriately and protected from suffering distress and harm in the name of entertainment.”
BVA hopes that a veterinary perspective will add further weight to persistent animal welfare concerns, flagged year after year.