The Island with Bear Grylls under fire over slaughter of pigs

The Island with Bear Grylls: Series 2

The Island with Bear Grylls has come under attack over the killing of pigs by the contestants.

While the men may have beheaded an iguana and (accidentally) killed a protected crocodile species, it's the death of piglets Sage and Onion at the hands of the women that has outraged viewers.

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have called on the programme's makers and Bear Grylls prosecuted for animal cruelty over the killings of the pigs, which were added to the island ahead of the contestants' arrival.

A spokesperson for PETA said: "Killing animals is a cheap ratings ploy and sends an especially harmful message to young viewers, who are greatly influenced by what they see on TV. Bear Grylls and the producers should be prosecuted. Fame doesn't mean immunity."

Meanwhile, a statement from the RSPCA reads: "The RSPCA opposes practices that cause animals pain, suffering or death in the name of entertainment. It's unacceptable and could easily cause great distress to the animals. There's no excuse for using animals in stunts that carry a high risk of them being harmed."

However Channel 4 said in a statement in response to the complaints: “An important part of the experiment was to find out if the men and women were capable of surviving alone and able to find sources of food, including hunting and killing for meat; a vital part of their survival as it is a source of valuable calories and protein.

"All islanders were trained in the humane capture and dispatch of live animals and the animals were killed humanely.”

Speaking earlier this month, Islander Lauren Morton revealed she had received DEATH threats after killing the pigs.

“We got quite a bit of hate mail – or I did, specifically, because I killed them,” she explained. “I think someone said, ‘I’d like to slit your throat’. I reported them to Twitter and blocked straight away.

“I think people struggle with the reality of where meat comes from.”

Meat eater Lauren however didn't have any regrets and added: “We hadn’t eaten in 12 days. When people watch it they watch the show with a full belly and they’re warm in the comforts of their home. It’s quite hard to relate to actually what 12 days without food feels like.”

The Island with Bear Grylls continues Wednesday and Thursday night on Channel 4.

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