Broadcaster to tighten up its procedures

ITV has apologised after Australian police launched an inquiry into alleged animal cruelty on this year’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

Contestants Gino D’Acampo, 33, and Stuart Manning, 30, must appear in court on 3 February 2010 after they killed and cooked a rat while in the jungle.

‘The production was asked if a rat could be caught and eaten by the celebrities in exile camp to supplement the basic rations they had been provided with for their evening meal,’ an ITV spokesman tells the BBC.

‘Having sought health and safety advice, the go-ahead was given purely on this basis…the production was unaware that killing a rat could be an offence.

ITV apologises for this error, and to the celebrities concerned, and will put in place procedures for next year’s series to ensure that this cannot happen again.’

A code of practice governs how animals are used in theatrical productions and films.

‘The killing of a rat for a performance is not acceptable,’ Chief Inspector David Oshannessy, from the RSPCA in New South Wales, tells BBC Radio 5 Live.

‘The concern is this was done purely for the cameras.’

Police have confirmed the show’s producers will not face charges. 

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