Ant McPartlin
TV

Chris Packham calls for ‘police investigation’ amid I’m A Celebrity wildlife concerns

It could be a disaster, he says

Chris Packham has called for a police investigation amid claims that I’m A Celebrity “transgressed” wildlife laws.

The Springwatch legend, 59, demanded the probe after fears show bosses released “invasive” crayfish into the wild last year.

Chris Packham criticises I'm A Celebrity for using alien crayfish on I'm A Celebrity
Chris has urged police to investigate (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Why is Chris Packham angry at I’m A Celebrity?

The freshwater, Turkish crayfish could be a “disaster” to British native white crayfish because they are more aggressive.

Mo Farah had to take on the crayfish in a trial in last year’s series.

Read more: Springwatch star Chris Packham banned from shooting fair because of “risk of violence”

The show relocated in Wales instead of Australia because of COVID travel restrictions.

Chris said: “If they didn’t have the appropriate licence and the necessary precautions in place to prevent these animals entering the UK’s freshwater ecosystem…

“…then they appear to have broken our environmental laws.”

Chris Packham criticises I'm A Celebrity for using alien crayfish on I'm A Celebrity
The series used crayfish in a trial last year (Credit: ITV)

Chris continued: “[These] laws which have been drafted to protect our already depleted biodiversity.

“So this would be a serious transgression and a serious matter – that’s why I hope the police will investigate it seriously and prosecute if there is a case.

“The abuse of animals on this programme has to come to an end – hopefully this will prompt it.”

Andrew Maxwell
The show has come under scrutiny before (Credit: ITV)

Not the first time…

It’s not the first time the hit ITV reality show has found itself at the centre of ‘welfare rules’ controversy.

Ahead of the series in November 2020, the RSPCA revealed it would be keeping a close eye on the show.

During its run, I’m A Celebrity has received criticism because of its use of live animals and insects during the Bushtucker Trials.

Read more: I’m A Celebrity stars ‘will NOT be fed live insects’ in Bushtucker trials

Even though it has ditched the live animals, the series still comes under the microscope.

“If complaints were received or if anything was seen, we would investigate that,” the RSPCA said.

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