CHANNEL 4 and the BBC have come under fire from farm groups, who said the broadcasters have escalated media aggression towards the consumption of meat through ‘unbalanced’ reporting.
With many farmers still smarting from the BBC documentary Meat: A Threat To Our Planet?, NFU Cymru recently blasted the BBC for its Veganville documentary as ‘another example of unbalanced and disproportionate reporting of veganism.’
The three-part documentary series features a group of five vegan activists who attempt to convert residents of Merthyr Tydfil to veganism.
NFU Cymru president John Davies said: “It is frustrating that once again a BBC-commissioned programme is acting as a promotional tool for a specific campaign representing only a tiny minority of people.”
The corporation was also slammed for publishing an online piece ‘Confessions of a Slaughterhouse Worker’, which the British Meat Processors Association said painted a ‘wholly inaccurate’ picture of UK abattoirs and their processes.
The story also contains artist impressions, with one image of calves with hooks in their ears which BMPA chief executive Nick Allen said was ‘completely gratuitous and inaccurate’.
He added: “Above all else, these plants are overseen by official vets and are heavily supervised which you would not know from reading this piece.
“We have filed a complaint to the BBC and if it is rejected will take it to Ofcom.”
Channel 4’s recent seven figure equity deal with Yorkshire based company, Meatless Farm Co, which sells meat-free products has also raised eyebrows, with a string of anti-meat documentaries being commissioned by the broadcaster.
Mr Davies said the union will ‘not accept’ fake anti-farming news. “We are prepared to escalate our actions if required,” he warned.
Kevin Roberts, chairman of Hybu Cig Cymru added: “The media needs to take a balanced approach to covering issues of diet and sustainability in 2020.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “Veganville isn’t pro-vegan or anti vegan. As NFU Cymru points out, the documentary hears from a range of local contributors who support the meat and dairy industry, whether farmers or members of the Merthyr Tydfil community, alongside those who practice veganism.”
Channel 4 were approached for a comment.