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Peta have again taken aim at the use of animals in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!.

The animal rights group has long challenged the long-running reality series’ use of all manner of both living and dead creatures in challenges.

Since it premiered in 2002, campmates have been covered in creepy crawlies while trying to win games, while bushtucker trials have seen them chow down on things like ostrich anus’, camel penis’ and live spiders.

Now protestors have turned up at ITV’s annual meeting to make their thoughts on the matter known again.

In London on Thursday, supporters dressed as frogs called on the broadcaster to ‘stop allowing animal abuse’ on the series, which has been filmed in Australia, South Africa and Wales over the years.

Displaying a sign proclaiming, “ITV: It’s Cruelty to Animals … Get It out of I’m a Celeb!” the protesters informed board members and shareholders that using frogs, insects, ostriches, crocodiles, rats, and other animals in tacky stunts was ‘cruelty, not entertainment’, and that it ‘must end’.

The Peta protest at ITV's annual meeting.
Peta protestors have crashed ITV’s annual meeting to protest the use of animals on I’m A Celebrity (Picture: Peta UK)

‘Over the past 23 seasons that I’m a Celebrity has been running, thousands of animals have suffered and died on the show,’ PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner said.

‘PETA is calling on ITV to end the use of animals for the show’s cruel, moronic stunts and urges it to finally send the message to viewers that animal abuse is not acceptable or entertaining.’

Nigel Farage on I'm A Celebrity.
The reality series has used both live and dead animals since its launch in 2002 (Picture:ITV/ Shutterstock)
Tony Bellew on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.
Campmates face challenges being covered in or eating various animals (Picture: James Gourley/ ITV/ Shutterstock)

Over the past 22 years, over 10,000 people have logged complaints with Ofcom over the programme’s mistreatment of animals.

In 2022 Peta went so far as to urge presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly to resign, saying they had ‘been complicit in animal cruelty now for 20 years’.

Ant & Dec have hosted I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here since it launched in 2002.
Hosts Ant & Dec were previously urged to quit the show (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

The public letter read: ‘For too long, you have been complicit in cruelty to animals on the show, and it must end.’

‘For 20 years, you have been complicit in the “Bushtucker trials”, standing by as animals of all descriptions are tormented – and even killed – for TV ratings. In this time, you must surely have become aware of the suffering, discomfort, and fear these unwilling participants endure during the challenges.’

The group warned that ‘the longer you associate yourselves with this show, the more you send the message to viewers that you think animal abuse is not only acceptable but entertaining.’

The letter then said that leaving the series would ‘signal to the show’s producers that people aren’t going to stand for senseless cruelty to animals anymore’.

An ITV spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘As a production, we comply with all regional and national laws concerning the use of insects, animals and reptiles. 

‘Welfare and safety is always the primary priority on any of our programmes and we inform the RSPCA NSW of all of our activities on the show and they have an open invitation to attend the site at any time. 

‘We have rigorous protocols in place to ensure that animals are handled safely at all times, before, during and after any filming has taken place, in compliance with all regional and national laws.’

I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! is expected to return to ITV later this year.

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