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Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Survivor pig death prompts new law
UK Survivor
UK Survivor has tested contestants to their limits
New animal welfare legislation is being introduced by an Australian state after a wild pig was slaughtered on US reality TV show Survivor.

A new code of care for animal stars in film and TV shows filmed in Queensland would be introduced shortly, its primary industry minister said.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had launched an investigation after a cast member killed the pig with a knife in the Queensland outback.

Animal welfare groups also received many complaints after the slaughter.

grubs
Contestants must find food on the island
The US group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) complained to the state government in Queensland, asking it to investigate.

It said contestant Michael Skupin had "blood-soaked hands" after killing the wild pig.

Primary industry minister Henry Palaszczuk spoke about the new law on Thursday, saying: "It is very timely, and I believe it will be very well received by not only the film and television industries but also our animal welfare groups as well."

Breaches of the proposed new animal welfare code would carry penalties of one year in jail and fines of up to A$22,500 (8,165).

Coral row

The show, which is produced by CBS, had already come up against legal difficulties after flying two contestants to an island in the ecologically sensitive Great Barrier Reef. They returned with pieces of coral as souvenirs.

It is illegal to take coral from the World Heritage listed reef without a permit.

Marine park officials said there were also complaints that a helicopter used by the show had flown too close to rookeries.

The show features 16 contestants who are placed in areas where they must fend for themselves.

Each week a contestant is voted off, with the ultimate winner picking up a cash prize of A$1,000,000 (362,953).

Although the first series was US television's biggest-ever summer time hit, it has not been as much of a success in the UK, and was moved to a later time-slot after disappointing viewing figures.

See also:

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