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Last Updated: Tuesday December 08 2009 15:32 GMT

Is it cruel to use animals in TV shows?

A spider

Two contestants from I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here are in trouble with the police in Australia after they killed and ate a rat on the show.

Chef Gino D'Acampo and actor Stuart Manning have both been charged with animal cruelty.

So what do you think of TV shows that use animals? Should they be forced to treat the creatures better, or would programmes be boring without them?

And do the type of animals make a difference? Is it OK to munch on bugs and creepy crawlies?

Maybe you think it's fine to use animals to make entertaining television?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your Comments

"This is completely absurd! They lived in the jungle. This was a rat and they were starving. They used their wit to find something to eat. Why is that so wrong? It was just a rat. There are far too many of them to make such a big deal about killing one. It's called a food chain. The rat eats something, then something else eats the rat. Why are the RSPCA making such a fuss?"

Cherri, 14, England

"I don't think they should make it a big issue because they did not intend to break laws."

Brocky, 13, Wigan, England

"They kill tonnes of other animals on the show so why is this different?"

Connor, 10, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I see no reason for them to be charged, they have done what anyone would have done. If anyone doesn't like animals being killed and eaten then they shouldn't eat meat themselves!"

John, 10, Hampshire, England

"Gino is a legend, pest killers kill rats and are they sent to court? No, exactly I don't understand it, they were hungry and they need to keep their strength up, but I hate animal cruelty. For something as small as this they shouldn't have to go to court."

Emily, 13, England

"I think it is alright, they should have told them not to kill any animals. It is not their fault that they killed the rat because they were thrown into a jungle so what do you expect?"

Jasmin, 10, Shrewsbury, England

"It's only a rat, the celebrities have to eat and unfortunately were top of the food chain."

Hattie, 13, East Sussex, England

"They had no food that morning and it is not fair on them. It was for their own well being."

Lucy, 10, Rugby, England

"I think that they shouldn't really make a big deal out of it because they were really hungry and the celebrities were forced to eat loads of other animals and creatures for entertainment."

Sumina, 12, London, England

"I think animals can appear on shows as long as they enjoy it and are not treated badly."

Nadia, 12, England

"I think it is wrong to use animals in TV shows because it is taking advantage of the animals because they do not have a chance and cannot run away. They are kept captive in a place and situation they are not happy in. It is unfair on the animals because they could get injured and can't help themselves. I think more thought and care should be taken over the animals."

Sophie, 13, Wigan, England

"I'm vegetarian and strongly against animal cruelty. It's not Gino and Stuart's fault because it's the producer of the show that is giving them hardly anything to eat. The celebrities don't know what's right or wrong because animals are killed during and for challenges. Basically no bugs or animals should be harmed or killed during the making of the show."

Lucy, 12, Swansea, Wales

"I think it is fine, if you found a rat in your bedroom and you killed it would you be charged? No! I think they are wasting their time worrying about it! Plus Gino and Stuart didn't even know that they couldn't!"

Katie, 12, England

"I think that it was the wrong thing to do as animals should not be killed for human entertainment."

Jamie, 10, Gloucestershire, England

"I think that Gino and Stuart should not be charged for animal cruelty because if they hadn't of eaten the rat they would of been starving!"

Sienna, 10, Cheshire, England

"I enjoy watching people squirm on TV when creepy crawlies are all over them. To kill them is very wrong, especially if it's on a very public show. I'd rather they had gone without any food for the night."

India, 12, Sutton, England

"I think it's OK to have animals in a show but it's not a good idea to kill one."

Aisling, 10, Dublin, Ireland

"It is silly to make such a big deal about it! Do these people realise guinea pigs and even rabbits get killed for food around the world. Look at all the cows, sheep, and pigs that get killed every year for food! And they're concerned about one rat? It is absolutely fine if they're going to eat it, but it is wrong to kill it for the fun of it."

Hayley, 14, Gloucestershire, England

"I think it is perfectly fine they did not know it was against the law."

Alistair, 10, Cornwall, England

"Using animals for TV programmes is totally wrong! It's total animal cruelty and however much humans hate rats and think it's funny to watch them being eaten, it isn't, they have as much right to life as us."

Hannah, 13, Scotland

"I do not think they should be accused of this as they were really hungry and wanted something to eat. Nobody told them they couldn't."

Jessica, 10, England

"Yes it's cruel to use animals in TV shows, they are frightened of us and it's very cruel and disgraceful I think whoever decided to let people do that should get charged!"

Alana, 11, Nottinghamshire, England

"I believe it is OK to use animals in TV shows, as half the time the animals do not get hurt."

Annie, 11, Northamptonshire, England

"I think it's unfair to use animals in the jungle but if they're hungry then they need to eat."

Chantelle, 13, Nottingham, England

"I think that it depends on the type of the animal."

Laurence, 11, Exeter, England

"I think that all of this is very stupid, it's not like it was an endangered species!"

Hadrienne, 13, Plymouth, England

"Pigs are killed daily for sausages and cows for steak, why does it matter for a rat to be eaten?"

Adam, 11, London, England

"I think they shouldn't be in trouble because I'm a Celebrity should have told them as soon as they suggested killing the rat."

Michael, 10, Birmingham, England

"I think they are going over the top, I mean it's a rat! It's not endangered. Gino and Stuart shouldn't go to court!"

Becky, 10, Preston, England

"I'm not a fan of those type of animals but I would never kill them!"

Bethany, 10, Exeter, England

"It's absolutely outrageous to prosecute Gino and Stuart. They were starving, only eating rice and beans that wasn't even enough for the whole group! Killing and eating the rat was their last resort and what were they meant to do, eat leaves!?"

Charlotte, 14, Dundee, Scotland

"What the heck? They let them eat crocodiles and other stuff but not a rat?!"

Lewis, 11, Burnley, England

"It was mean but Gino and Stuart did not realise that it was against the protection law. I think the police should have warned them about it first just to be safe. I don't think you should charge the King of the jungle."

Grace, 9, Middleton, England

"I don't think its cruel because we eat animals all the time."

Amy, 12, Surrey, England

"It is just a rat what is the fuss about?!"

Ali, 11, London, England

"I love animals I would have just left the rat alone, it was going to exit the camp anyway."

Niall, 10, Sunderland, England

"You should not eat animals in a show. Firstly it may be poisonous. Secondly that is cruel. And lastly how would you feel if you were an animal and somebody ate you?"

Subeyda, 10, London, England

"I personally couldn't care less, it's just a publicity stunt if you ask me. It's a rat get over it!!!!!"

Claudia, 12, Bristol, England

"It's OK to use animals in TV shows, as long as no harm comes to them."

Amy, 11, Norwich, England

"I think it isn't bad if they killed a rat and ate it because all the other creatures that they ate alive."

Joe, 10, Hereford, England

"The ITV producers should have stepped in when they were forced to eat it. They could not have been that hungry to go and eat a rat but they obviously were. At least give them something else to eat."

Louisa, 13, Cheshire, England

"I think the ITV producers should be the ones who get the blame for putting the footage on TV."

Deanna, 12, Cumbria, England

"I think that is unfair to use animals. All animals are innocent! I cry when I hear animals being killed for the sake of it!"

Zara, 10, Essex, England

"It was for food to eat and not for fun! And other animals are eaten daily for food and are sold in shops. What's the big deal?"

Max, 9, Cheltenham, England

"They killed the rat to eat it. They didn't kill it to show off. It's ridiculous. They have taken it too far."

Emily, 13, Fife, Scotland

"It's wrong! They shouldn't be jailed for eating an animal when they were starving! They're allowed to eat witchety grubs live and meal worms, so why not a rat?"

Ashleigh, 14, Tayside, Scotland

"What's the big deal? I'm sure that if the RSPCA people were in the jungle just on beans, I think they would do that as well. You shouldn't blame Gino and Stuart, it's the producer's fault."

Charlotte, 9, Surrey, England

"It is a rat. There are some things people should just get over. There are plenty of rats in Australia and they should let them off. It's a rat and they were in a jungle, it's not the end of the world."

Sophie, 10, Norwich, England

"I think it is a bit over the top to be put in court just because they killed one rat. I would agree if it was an endangered species but it isn't. I think they should rather look into the problem that the show is shoving animals in boxes for the bush tucker trials!"

Ella, 11, Surrey, England

"I find it quite entertaining but I do also think it's cruel to animals. My conclusion is that they should carry on using them but not all the time."

Kelly, 12, West Midlands, England

"I don't think it's fair that Stuart and Gino have to go to court because they have killed something as small as a rat. Ok, if they had killed something endangered them maybe everyone could understand, but it's only a rat. There are MILLIONS of them in the world, come on!"

Emma, 13, East Sussex, England

"They always eat stuff on this show and they die - why did they suddenly care about it now? What about the other ones they eat? It's no different!"

Jake, 10, Gloucestershire, England

"No. It's stupid to say that when the I'm A Celebrity thing has them eating animals anyway. I'm frustrated that they're fussing about a rat!"

Noah, 10, Cardiff, Wales

"I think it was cruel, but think about it. They probably killed millions of animals on that show. Spiders drowned in Jimmy's trial, spiders were plummeted from a cliff in Katie's trial. The fish used in Kim's trial were just poured onto the floor. All of those animals died, so why is it such a big deal when it's a rat?"

Molly, 11, Ipswich, England

"It is not right that Stuart and Gino face charges. They had hardly any food at all. No wonder they ate rats!"

Alexandra, 9, Warwickshire, England

"I think it's all a fuss over nothing. Who cares if Gino and Stuart killed a rat. For one, it was only one rat and two, it was a rat in the jungle, who was only going to be eaten by some thing else if they hadn't eaten it!"

Louisa, 12, Reading, England

"I am vegetarian and although I don't like rats much, they still have a right to life. People may say you can find them anywhere, they are just rats, but I could go to virtually any country on Earth and find a human, so in saying that, you are agreeing that murder is completely acceptable? Think it over."

Rory, 11, Belfast, N. Ireland

"It is cruel on the animal. It has a right. Celebrities should be setting an example to us."

Charlotte, 9, Merseyside, England

"I find it highly cruel to use any kind of living creature in these kind of shows. Whilst people at home are laughing their socks off thinking about the celebrity suffering doing the trial, it really is the animals who are forced into doing it and being harmed. Imagine if for no apparent reason you were picked up and thrown into one of those trials, got really hurt and nobody cared! It's so cruel."

Rachel, 11, Limerick, Ireland

"I think that it would be really boring if there were no people eating animals on I'm A Celebrity. It would be rubbish. The RSPCA are over the top."

Sam, 11, Leicestershire, England

"Why are people saying they had to eat it? They had food. It clearly said on the website they only had very basic food to eat of rice and beans. They didn't need to kill the rat."

Zoe, 12, Kent, England

"Why is it OK to eat a live worm, but not to kill and eat a rat? All animals should be allowed to be wild."

Classroom, 11, Cambridge, England

"We in Jade class think that it is cruel to the animals. What did the animals do to them? Why do the animals have to suffer in order to make us laugh? We think that a Ranger should be there to look after the animals at all times."

Jade class, 8-9, Sheerness, UK

"I don't think it is cruel because if you're hungry you have to eat something!"

Leoni, 14, Nottinghamshire, England

"This is ridiculous. Exterminators made it their job to kill rats, but they're not charged with animal cruelty and neither are the people who slaughter, sell and eat meat every day. Just because it's shown on TV doesn't make it any more cruel."

Ben, 14, Plymouth, England

"No, he shouldn't get charged because it's the wild. Other creatures kill - it's to stay alive. They had no food to eat so they had to kill to eat, it's life. We eat lobster, lamb and beef and that's all from animals!"

Connor, 14, Nottingham, England

"I don't think it is cruel to use animals in TV shows, but I agree with Rhiannon, it is cruel when they kill and eat them. It's OK when they eat things in the Bushtucker trials though, because they have permission to eat those things."

Katie, 13, Newport, Wales

"I think it's stupid because they use bugs and insects in trials and even eat them, so I don't see why they're getting punished for eating a rat!"

Jonny, 14, East Sussex, England

"I have just read all the comments and half of them are right - they didn't know what not to eat!"

Jess, 11, Bath, England

"This is mad! Why is there so much fuss over someone eating a rat, regardless of the fact it was on a TV show. Someone could go into their garden and kill a rat - would they get charged for it? (I'm actually not that sure!) And also, people eat lamb and chicken, they are animals too!"

Harriet, 10, Essex, England

"OK, some shows (nature programmes for example) NEED animals on them, but to treat animals with cruelty when they didn't even want to be there in the first place is just horrible and sick."

Kara, 13, Orkney, Scotland

"Sometimes it's not cruel, because people can learn about animals in programmes like Life."

Sanchai, 10, London, England

"On that TV show they treat animals really mean. Eating live creatures and killing others is cruel. They should be in trouble for killing that poor rat."

Marley, 12, Barry, Wales

What is the POINT! A rat is just a rat, why does anyone care! I think it's just to get noticed by the press."

Holly, 10, Ipswich, England

"It is a bit silly really, there are millions of dirty rats around, and besides, humans slaughter and eat cows and chickens and that's fine."

Giles, 13, Gloucestershire, England

"It is cruel when they are eaten alive, they can feel pain like any animal."

Aaron, 10, Swansea, Wales

"I'm A Celebrity is an awesome show but having a court case is a little bit over the top - however it is a wild animal and it could die from a different animal, but they wouldn't make a court case over that! We eat chickens, turkey, beef and meat. Are we arrested? No!"

Abbie, 12, Lincolnshire, England

"I think that it is OK to use animals in TV shows, but only if they are treated with as much respect as they treat the humans used in the show."

Becky, 11, London, England

"I love animals, but I don't have an issue with them killing rats. They are dirty, vile creatures. I don't think it is Gino or Stuart's fault, it is the producers fault - they should have told them not to kill the rats. Millions of rats are killed everyday in sewers, yet the RSPCA don't complain about that. There is nothing wrong with what they did in the jungle, it was all about survival and that's what they had to do to survive."

Charlotte, 14, Cheshire, England

"I thinks it's all pathetic, they have been making them eat all different kinds of insects on the show and making them eat crushed up bugs - and they have been charged for animal cruelty! If that's the case then I'm a Celebrity should be prosecuted."

James, 14, Essex, England

"No they shouldn't of killed the rat, but when you're starving hungry you haven't really got a choice. Instead of making them go to court they should be given sufficient amounts of food. Then they wouldn't have all this trouble with rats and other animals!"

Beth, 11, Derbyshire, England

"To be honest it's just silly. I mean, you look at all the bugs being eaten live and all the lobsters being stood on and they don't say a thing. Even though it is a rat, all animals are special. Imagine if your favourite pet was changed into a rat. Would you not like it any more? Think about that one."

Samuel, 13, West Sussex, England

"If you were in the wild and if you could only stay alive if you ate a wild animal, you would eat it wouldn't you? They should have provided more food in the first place."

Oliver, 11, Hertfordshire, England

"I think the trials on I'm A Celebrity should be anything apart from eating dead or alive animals. Those animals have done nothing to them, so why should they kill them and feed them to the celebs! This is a total outrage to eat and kill animals."

Chloe, 11, London, England

"I think they should be let off as the police don't mind them eating or killing the bugs, and that's animal cruelty."

Caitlin, 10, Plymouth, England

"I think it is wrong. If they are hungry then I'm A Celebrity isn't providing enough food, which is cruelty to them!"

Saffron, 12, Essex, England

"I think this is stupid, if they are hungry they deserve to eat. If they didn't get enough food to eat on that show, then it's the show's fault. Plus they weren't the only one who ate it."

Emily, 12, East Sussex, England

"I think its absolutely stupid. They didn't know what they were doing was wrong and they didn't get told any different. If they were hungry what do you expect?"

Georgina, 13, England

"It isn't cruel to have animals on shows but it is when you kill them!!"

Rhiannon, 8, England

"Although we eat animals it's a bit different when you show it on TV like what if someone was watching and didn't like the idea of killing animals?"

Anisah, 9, London, England

"I think the RSPCA is going a bit to far now as they needed to eat and that was the only thing they could. I don't really understand as many people kill rats all over the world all the time. I think that they are just wasting their time taking this to court. They should use their time for something more important!!"

Katie, 12, UK

"It's not their fault they were hungry! I don't blame them one bit!!"

Siwan, 13, Wales

"I think the RSPCA are being very stupid, because it is only a rat. I'd be upset if the stars got sick because of the rat, anyway they needed food!"

Jessica, 9, Dorking, England

"I don't think it is bad because those people were hungry and had nothing else to eat so they had no choice."

Matthew, 9, Guildford, England

"It should be ITV producers getting the blame, not Gino and Stuart!!"

Megan, 14, Warrington, England

"No it's not cruel! They might have eaten a rat but they were also eating cockroaches but they aren't getting told off for that! You would eat anything if you were starving!"

Brittany, 13, Norwich, England

"I don't think they should be using animals on the TV show at all."

Hannah, 14, Blackburn, England

"I think it is silly, loads of people kill animals every day so why is this different?"

Grace, 12, Essex, England

"I think that it is stupid that they have to go into court because it's a rat! They would rather save a rat than all the cows and pigs that die every day."

Alisha, 7, Birmingham, England

"Some vegetarians may find it disturbing, but going to court about this is a waste of Britain's resources."

Tom, 12, Warwickshire, England

"It's the programme producers that need to be punished not the contestants, they should have stepped in and stopped it."

Mollie, 10, West Midlands, England

"I think it was cruel to kill the rat."

Niamh, 9, Warrington, England

"People kill cows and pigs for meat. Why is a rat any more important?"

Hannah, 13, Shropshire, England

"It's very very cruel."

Engli, 8, London, England

"I think it is unfair because the rat was wandering around the camp and there wasn't a rule to say they couldn't kill the rat."

William, 12, Wales

"I don't think Gino should go to court because no one told him that he could not eat it."

James, 11, Wales

"I think that they should let them off because they were in the jungle eating only rice and beans and one killed rat isn't going to end the world, but they shouldn't have done it."

Charlotte, 11, Ringwood, England

"They are stupid because what has a rat done to them? And it has suffered a horrible death and you would not like to be on a plate and fed to a human!"

Matthew, 9, Preston, England

"Well they were hungry and there are loads more rats in the wild, so what's all the fuss about?"

Ashleigh, 9, Dartford, England

"I think the RSPCA are looking into it too much... The Rat was not having a great life as it is and it is not the end of the world, They were in EXILE they would'nt have survived!!!"

Natasha, 11, Herts, England

"I think that it is cruel and wrong to use animals or insects on TV shows because animals have feelings and should not be used for entertainment or any other exploitive purpose."

Elisha, 11, Tamworth, England

"It's only a rat. I mean rats can be found everywhere. I could understand if it was an endangered animal they killed."

Rhiane, 14, Morden, England

"I think it is utterly ridiculous that Gino and Stuart might have to go to court over a rat. Maybe the show should give them sufficient amounts of food so they don't have to kill animals?"

Emma, 14, Cambridge, England

"I think Gino and Stuart shouldn't go to court because there was no option really, besides it's only a rat and I would probably do that if I was starving to death."

Kayleigh, 10, Bristol, England

"They might not know what the law is in Australia."

Katherine, 11, Peterborough, England

"It doesn't make sense. Why would you kill animals for whatever reason? I am an animal lover and think it is very wrong!"

Samantha, 13, Surrey, England

"Yes. It is very cruel and anyone being caught doing it should be prosecuted or something like that."

Louise, 11, Kingsbury, England

"I think is isn't fair to go to court over killing then eating a rat. The RSPCA are just being silly and fussy over this and they shouldn't do that to people who are innocent and haven't done anything wrong when they don't have anything to eat out there, and people kill a lot of animals, and don't have to go to court and get charged so should Stuart and Gino?"

Hannah, 10, Shipdham, England

"They have a right to eat. I mean who cares about a crazy disgusting rat?"

Jessica, 9, Bradford, England

"I think it is cruel to use animals in TV shows! I also think they should have got in trouble with he police."

Neve, 11, Ely, England

"I think it is not OK to use animals in TV programmes to be cruel to them, but I don't think they should be going to court for doing it."

Jaz, 10, Churnside, Scotland

"Animals should not have to suffer for our TV shows. It is wrong!"

Hollie, 11, England

"Yes, it is wrong because animals are living like us and do not want to be killed on TV programmes!"

Samuel, 10, Lancashire, England

"It depends. If it is a creepy crawly, like a rat or spider, then it is okay but if it is an animal such as a dog or rabbit then it should not be allowed!"

Sammy, 13, London, England

"I think that the makers of that TV show should go to court as well because they were in charge of the show."

Aidan, 10, Swanick, England

"I think it is cruel to kill an innocent animal that hasn't done you any harm. you should treated them like you expect some one to treat you."

Alex, 13, Coventry

"No, because if you were starving in the middle of the jungle then it shows good initiative to find something to eat - even a rat! There are much worse things you can do to animals. Gino and Stuart probably killed the rat quickly so it didn't suffer."

Zoe, 8, Wigan, UK

"It was either eat the pesky rat or starve!!! What were they supposed to do? If you were in their situation you cannot possibly tell me you wouldn't do the same thing."

Victoria, 13, Essex, England

"I think it is silly because it is only a rat and there are loads more left in the world and in Australia as well. Now it's not fair on them that they have to go to court and maybe get charged as well."

Lucy, 9, Dunbar, Scotland

"It's the circle of life. People kill animals every day and eat them. There are far worse things out there than killing a rat."

Ronald, 12, USA

"Why can't you eat a rat but you can eat cockroaches? I just don't get it."

Ross, 9, Sheffield, England

"I don't think it is fair to kill animals on TV shows but it is only a rat that they killed and plus they can't help it if the show was starving them and they had to kill the rat!!!! THEY HAD NO FOOD!!!"

Elle, 12, Newbury, England

"No. It's our entertainment we care about. I would eat a rat if I was starving in a jungle."

Georgia, 13, Blackpool, UK

"What about where they have to eat cockroaches and crocodile tongue. They don't think that's cruel it's only one rat!!!!!!"

Katie, 10, Bolton

"I think that they shouldn't have done it but that is the way life goes. It's just like a cooking program... people eat chicken and it is the same thing. If you were hungry what would you do?"

Gaby, 12, Greenhithe, England

"I think it is really silly to make them go to court. People eat cows, birds, pigs ETC all the time and to make all this fuss over one rat is just stupid."

Zara, 12, London, England

"I think it's definitely wrong. All creatures are the same and shouldn't be sacrificed just for TV shows."

Revati, 12, London, UK

"I think it's stupid. People kill rats everyday! it's just because The Australian RSPCA are being stupid!"

Jessica, 12, UK

"Yes, because animals are living creatures. They should be free."

Jack, 8, Manchester, UK

"Every animal should be treated well on TV, that is the law anyway. It has nothing to do with survival because it's all on a TV show! Everything is scripted and controlled! If they broke the law, then punish them. Cruelty is wrong - it may be 'just a rat' but it has feelings too!"

Charles, 14, York, England

"I think it is silly to charge someone for killing a rat and I think it is not a matter to go to court over. If you think about it they were hungry and people kill cows and birds all the time - they should go to court over something more important."

Holly, 9, Mill Hill, England

"I think that it is very stupid and silly. And I think that the RSPCA is being very silly. It is only a rat."

Hollie, 11, Chepstow, England

"I love I'm A Celebrity and I love Gino and Stuart, but I think that they are in the jungle and they do have to eat something and that had to be a rat. I think there is nothing wrong with that and I think Gino and Stuart should not go to court."

Emily, 10, Wiltshire, England

"I think it is not cruel."

Douglas, 11, London, UK

"I think it wrong to use animals because they might get scared and suffer."

Leon, 10, Abingdon, UK

"It is cruel because the animals do not deserve it and they have not done anything wrong."

Rebecca, 9, Manchester, England

"No, it's cruel yeah. But if you need to survive you can't argue."

Leah, 13, Oldbury, England

"I think sometimes its alright to use animals in TV shows but sometimes if they get killed then it's just plain wrong."

Jamie, 11, Bexhill, England

"Yes, it is cruel. It is disgusting that they would use innocent animals in a TV show and they end up getting stood on or eaten for entertainment."

Katie, 13, York, England

"I think they should as long as they don't hurt the animal."

Ellie, 8, Blackburn, England