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UK Police Probes Reality TV Show Over Allegations of Releasing Non-native Cockroaches in Wales

A British reality show is being investigated after allegations that it released non-native cockroaches in Wales, UK, during an episode | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

A British reality show is being investigated after allegations that it released non-native cockroaches in Wales, UK, during an episode | Image credit: Reuters (Representational)

The ITV network’s show 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here' is under investigation after naturalist Iolo Williams complained that non-native bugs were released into the natural environment of Wales during an episode.

Police in north Wales, United Kingdom, are investigating a British reality show after allegations that the show makers released non-native bugs in wildlife.

After presenter of the show Springwatch Iolo Williams complained about the release of non-native bugs in the Welsh countryside, police are investigating the British reality show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!

The complaint is that non-native creatures like cockroaches, maggots, spiders and worms have been released in the wildlife, reported The Guardian.

The report states that police are investigating if the bugs were released into the wildlife environment during the bushtucker trials.

The allegations being investigated by Rural crime officers from the north Wales police are that these non-native creatures can threaten wildlife in 100-hectare estate which surrounds Gwrych Castle. It is at this place that the show is being held this year.

The ITV network’s show is under investigation after naturalist Iolo Williams filed a complaint against them. He was shocked to see the cockroaches being used that are not found in the UK and in North Wales.

As per Iolo, the contestants would still be carrying the insects even after they leave the enclosure.

ITV has reacted to the allegations and said that the species that were used are non-invasive. According to them, they are released in an open area and are collected immediately after shooting.

The statement further said, “they are all purchased commercially within the UK and are normally bred as animal food”.

The report said that Natural Resources Wales — the authority which gives out licenses for release of species in the wild — did not receive any request from ITV.

It will be a breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act if the non-native creatures have been released by ITV without a license.

This is the second time recently that the show has faced complaints. Earlier, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) expressed serious concerns over the handling of animals on the show by the contestants. It said that the portrayal of certain species as nasty rather than sentient, living creatures sends out a wrong message.


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