RSPCA NSW has received information about a rat, killed for human consumption, during the filming of the reality television program 'I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here'.
In NSW the use of animals in films and theatrical productions can only occur in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals in Films and Theatrical Performances. The primary principle of the Code is that it is not acceptable to intentionally endanger, abuse, injure or kill an animal as part of a production.
"TV series production staff must submit a notification form to the RSPCA or the Animal Welfare League. But we received no pre-notice or advice that this segment was going to occur – it happened on a day that no animals were featuring in production, so no RSPCA Inspectors were present." said RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector David O'Shannessy.
While it is the case that animals are killed for human consumption, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act mandates that in the preparation or process of destroying the animal, the act must be carried out in a manner that inflicts no unnecessary pain upon the animal. As a result of RSPCA NSW enquiries and the viewing of unedited footage, RSPCA NSW alleges that the act of killing the rat was not performed humanely, or in a manner which inflicted no unnecessary distress or suffering.
"The concern is that this act was done purely for the cameras. The killing of a rat for a performance is not acceptable," said O'Shannessy.
Two Field Court Attendance Notices have been served to the contestants involved.
RSPCA NSW investigations continue.