POLICE have given “suitable advice” to the makers of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! following criticism of its use of non-native insects during filming.

A North Wales Police spokesman said producers had been spoken to about their “set management and biosecurity”.

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the ITV programme, which is being filmed at Gwrych Castle in Abergele rather than its usual location in Australia due to coronavirus, was under investigation by the force over the potential release of insects into the wild.

The police statement said: “North Wales Police and Natural Resources Wales have received information regarding the potential release of non-native species into ‘non studio’ areas, and we have given suitable advice to the production team regarding their set management and biosecurity.”

Animal welfare charity RSPCA also waded in on the argument about insects being used on the show.

Since ‘I’m a Celebrity’ was first aired - the RSPCA say animals have been ‘dropped, thrown, handled roughly, crushed, chased, overcrowded, scared’ by contestants and prevented from escaping from stressful experiences.

A spokesperson said: “With over 12million viewers for the first episode of 2020, I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here is one of ITV’s most anticipated reality shows.

“Every year, we’re faced with concerns about the use of animals, insects and other live creatures during the filming of the show, and with the show taking place on home turf, we’re asking our supporters to make their concerns heard about animal welfare.

“Sadly, there have also been incidents where animals have been killed for no other purpose than entertainment. Only last year Wales banned the use of wild animals for entertainment in circuses, so surely we can move on from using any animal purely for our fun?”

ITV say the series - that is being filmed at Gwrych Castle in Abergele - launched with 14.3 million viewers - its biggest ever overall audience for the opening episode of the long-running series.

Bosses have defended the use of bugs saying all the insects used during the programme are “non-invasive species”.

A spokesman for I’m A Celebrity added: "All of the insects used on I’m A Celebrity are non-invasive species.

“They are only ever released in a contained area and collected immediately after filming.

“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.”

Welsh naturalist and BBC Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams previously raised questions over the programme’s use of the creatures.

He tweeted: “As well as the moral issue of using wild animals for entertainment, surely there are huge ecological issues here also.”