BBC remove environmental documentary due to pressure from National Farmers Union

Read Time:   |  21st October 2020

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The BBC is facing backlash after it bowed to pressure from the NFU and pulled a documentary investigating the environmental damage caused by meat production.


The eye-opening documentary by Liz Bonnin ‘Meat: A Threat to Our Planet’ has been removed from BBC iPlayer 10 months after it aired due to overwhelming complaints from the National Farmers Union (NFU).

Liz Bonnin took viewers on a tour from cattle ranches, pig farms and research facilities in the USA to the Amazon rainforest, later heading to Brazil’s Cerrado region and making her way to Robben Island in South Africa, before the programme comes to an end at a Welsh farm.

The complaint dictated that the documentary ‘failed to make clear distinctions between grass-fed regenerative beef farming in the UK and cattle ranching in the Amazon.’

Even if this was true, the practice of grass-fed beef farming is unsustainable in its own right as it would require significantly more land than we have at our disposal to feed a growing population.

Moreover, this type of farming currently accounts for a very small percentage of meat in the UK, with Compassion In World Farming identifying almost 800 US-style mega-farms in the UK, with “around 73% of farmed animals kept in factory farms” and Viva! documenting that more than 90 per cent of piglets in Britain are factory farmed.

This begs the question – where are all these ‘regenerative grass-fed farms’?

While the NFU’s win against Liz Bonnin’s documentary is greatly welcomed by meat lobbyists and farmers, a petition has been launched for the BBC to bring it back to iPlayer.

The petition reads: “The BBC have given into lobbying by the NFU who complained that it did not show enough eco-friendly farming.

“The programme was extremely informative and looked at industrial farming around the world which is a threat to our planet and climate change. We are asking the BBC to please reinstate this extremely important documentary back onto iPlayer. ”

Click here to sign the petition.

Has the climate crisis been forgotten during the pandemic? Find out here.


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