Anger over TV show

Farmer’s Weekly, 11 May 1979

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, shown on BBC2, 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 which advertised the programme. It showed a pig and carried a mock health warning of the type used on cigarette packets.

But an NFU spokesman was satisfied with the response to the regional radio phone-in programmes which followed the television debate.

“Judging by the response of our regional people who monitored the phone-ins, a lot of farmers sprang to the defence of their industry,” he said.

The film shown on the programme was “very biased”, but the panel, comprising Charles Jarvis, chairman of the British Farm Produce Council, Mr Robin Pooley, chairman of the British Poultry Meat Association, and Mr Don Haxby, past president of the British Vetinary Association, did its best to put the record straight in the brief time available.

“By attempting to do too much in too short a time the film ended up doing very little,” added the spokesman.

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