PETA Calls For Dept Of Health To Investigate ‘The Tonight Show’ After Bob Irwin Segment

Animal rights group PETA has called for The Tonight Show to be investigated for animal cruelty after allowing celebrities like Kate Beckinsale and Jacob Anderson play with animals on the show.

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The group is livid at NBC for hiring Grant Kemmerer of Wild World of Animals for various segments that involved celebs touching animals, including having Beckinsale poke an African bullfrog.

On another episode, Anderson, AKA Greyworm on Game of Thrones, was stuffed into a phone booth with Kemmerer, Jimmy Fallon and a python snake.

The letter also cites a segment in which our very own Bob Irwin handles an alligator, a millipede, a miniature horse and a mandrill on separate occasions.

PETA’s letter to the New York City Health Department claims Kemmerer didn’t have permission to let anyone other than himself and his employees touch the wildlife — though Kemmerer insists his involvement with the NBC show creates an exception.

“Fallon or Robert Irwin are not the public,” Kemmerer told Page Six. “It was deemed even people in the audience are not looked at as the public—in the eyes of the USDA—because they’re paying for an entertainment show and expect this type of show. … You’re not going to pull out a random animal and hope it goes OK.”

“We are alleviating any potential risk, and for Jimmy Fallon, he’s not going into this unknowing,” he added. “He is a participating person in this. They’re having Robert on there to bring the animals.”

The Department of Health confirmed to the publication that it’s reviewing PETA’s letter and its allegations, though they couldn’t provide the permits.

“Animals suffer every time they’re exposed to the chaos of a television set and passed around like props,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in a statement. “PETA is calling on authorities to throw the book at this hack for brazenly violating—on camera—the clear conditions of his exhibitor permits.”

PETA is asking that Kemmerer be banned from obtaining future permits and calling for The Tonight Show to cut ties with him, as well as cease all use of animals on the nightly show.

A source close to production told the gossip site that, “The safety of animals is important to everyone at the show and we take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety.”