‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ Under Fire from Leading Animal-Protection Groups

PETA, OneKind, Animal Aid and VIVA Call On Channel 4 to Implement Animal-Welfare Policy

London – Following an episode of the Channel 4 reality show The Island With Bear Grylls during which contestants were filmed slashing the throat of a terrified pig, PETA, Animal Aid, OneKind, and Vegetarians’ International Voice for Animals (VIVA) have come together to call on the broadcaster to ensure that such violence is never aired again by implementing a proper animal-welfare policy. The groups sent a joint letter after the show’s producers revealed that the pigs had been shipped to the uninhabited Pearl Islands for the show, expressly for the purpose of being killed and eaten by the contestants.

As the groups note in their letter to Channel Four Television Corporation Chief Executive David Abraham, had the incident taken place in the UK, the contestants could face charges and, potentially, time in prison. The letter goes on to say that torturing and killing animals is a cruel way to attempt to boost ratings and sends an especially harmful message to young viewers, who are greatly influenced by what they see on TV.

“There is simply no excuse for this kind of callous disregard for life”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “TV producers and broadcasters can entertain audiences without resorting to cruelty to animals.”

A previous episode of the show saw contestants track down and kill an endangered American crocodile, a species that is protected under the Endangered Species Act – meaning it is against the law to kill, poach or harass these animals in any way.

The letter is available here. Photos from a PETA protest outside Channel 4 are available here and here.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.