Popular TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ has tweaked their format for the first time following a huge backlash from animal rights activists.
The reality show, which began back in 2002, will no longer feature any contestants eating live critters as part of its ‘bushtucker trials’.
With the new rule, this year’s line-up and future participants will only eat insects that are already dead.
The format still includes live insects being thrown on top of contestants and they will be made to hold live bugs in their mouths for mental endurance tasks.
“Producers have taken a look at the trials and decided that no live critters would be eaten in the trials this year,” a TV spokesperson revealed to BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.
“They have been planning this for some time and actually last year beach worms were the only critters eaten live but this time around they’ve decided to implement the change fully and permanently.”
The show’s format has been criticized a number of times with many dubbing the entertainment inhumane.
In 2014, TV host and naturalist Chris Packham wrote a letter to fellow presenters Ant & Dec urging them to stop animal cruelty on their show.
He told the Mirror: “When I see them being harmed or killed for entertainment, I wonder if we are not in the Middle Ages. It’s about change. People have to accept that we have to make changes now.
“What I object to on the programme is the ongoing stereotyping of these animals as being things which are dirty, disgusting, poisonous dangerous and so on and so forth. And that’s counterproductive to everything that I do.
“We don’t have wild animals in the circus anymore, we don’t like animals being used for that sort of entertainment any more. So why would we countenance it on a TV programme?”
Before the show’s upcoming season, animal rights activist Tayana Simons in a column for the Daily Mirror Newspaper wrote: “ITV has taken animal cruelty and turned it into grotesque entertainment.
“Not only does this harm the animals involved, but it also normalises animal cruelty to audiences of millions, including young children.
“The Bushtucker Trials epitomise a flippant disregard for non-human animal life which does not belong in this century. They need to end.”
Do you think the I’m A Celebrity producers should ban the use of animals entirely? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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