Science & Technology

Animal production and public health: TV programme looks at “risks”

The Veterinary Record

More than 20 veterinary surgeons took part in radio ‘phone-in programmes throughout the country after the screening of BBC’s controversial programme Brass Tacks on May 8. The programme looked at modern intensive methods of animal production and the potential risk to public health. The programme asked whether it was time to tighten the rules on use of antibiotics even more than the regulations made following the Swann Report 10 years ago which had shown

Down to Brass Tacks

The Veterinary Record

There is always a danger in producing what is considered to be “good television”, particularly on a scientific subject, that some of the more mundane yet pertinent facts will be ignored. That was the case in the BBC2 programme Brass Tacks, broadcast on May 8. The programme looked at modern methods of intensive animal husbandry and the potential risk to the public health from antibiotics and other medicinal substances,. But as was inevitable given the type of presentation, a number of issues were raised that were not satisfactorily answered

Trial by television puts chicken on the salmonella rack

Poultry World

VIEWERS must have been left confused after last week’s BBC television programme on drugs in animal husbandry and organic versus intensive farming. The experts, aided by filmed shots of processing plants and abattoirs, told them that poultry was involved in 6,000 of the 11,000 cases of notified food poisoning in a year. Salmonella and the use of drugs was put over as a health risk in the film and pre-publicity that has brought industry protests of bias

The BBC should be thoroughly ashamed

Financial Times
Chris Dunkley

Brass Tacks has returned with an interesting innovation in public access which combines national television and local radio, but offers as raw material only the same irresponsibly sensational nonsense which we grew to distrust in its previous series. The BBC should be thoroughly ashamed of the journalism on this programme and we shall have to keep a very close eye on it

Howl of rage over BBC programme

London Evening Standard

A HOWL of rage has gone up among British farmers over BBC TV’s Brass Tacks film on their industry. “I have just taken part in a nightmare,” wails British Farm Produce Council chairman Charles Jarvis in a letter to the Daily Telegraph. Mr Jarvis says he and colleagues were “set up” by the BBC

Panel protest over farm drugs show

Sunday Telegraph

A CONTROVERSIAL BBC television programme which said people may be harmed by drugs used on farm animals, has been attacked as a “nightmare” experience and “trial by television of the worst sort” by two farm industry panellists who took part in it. The programme, shown on May 8, was the first in a new BBC2, “Brass Tacks” series. It included a 30-minute film showing intensive farms and


Daily Telegraph

SIR – I have just taken part in a nightmare. Not one of the usual kind from which one wakes to the comforting reassurance of familiar objects, but under the glaring lights of a television studio as a so-called panellist in the first of the new BBC-2 series, “Brass Tacks”.

Anger over TV show

Farmer’s Weekly

HUNDREDS of farmers sprang to the defence of the agricultural industry on radio phone-ins around the country after the BBC’s controversial television report on pig and poultry farming, says the National Farmer’s Union. The programme debated the use of drugs and intensive farming methods and the possible harmful effects they could have. Farmers were enraged by the cover of the Radio Times showing a pig with a health warning of the type used on cigarette packets