ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here! has defended its use of non-native insects on the reality show, following reports that police are investigating whether non-native spiders and more could have escaped into the countryside during filming in Wales.

The Guardian has reported that a police investigation into a potential breach of the UK's Wildlife and Countryside Act has been launched over the use of non-native spiders, cockroaches, maggots and worms in the show's infamous challenges. A spokesman for the reality series has said that "non-invasive species" are used. 

"They are only ever released in a contained area and collected immediately after filming," he explained.

"The bugs are UK-bred and are commercially purchased in the UK for birds and exotic animal feed for pets and zookeepers in normal circumstances.

"Our insects have been donated to local wildlife sanctuaries, trusts and zoos for their exotic animal and bird feed after filming."

Filming is taking place at Gwrych Castle near Abergele, north Wales. The show usually films in Australia but has been unable to do so due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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