By Paul Revoir, Daily Mail
Three Jersey calves were filmed being killed on the Channel 4
programme featuring farmer Jimmy Doherty
Nearly 60 people complained about the graphic scenes aired at 9.30pm on Tuesday
Harrowing scenes of newly-born dairy calves being lined up and shot dead simply because they are male have left television viewers sickened.
of three Jersey calves being killed were filmed to highlight the grim
reality of the dairy industry.
The Channel 4 programme, featuring farmer Jimmy Doherty, was explaining how more than 90,000 male dairy calves are shot at birth every year because there is no market for them.
But graphic scenes of a ‘knacker man’ pointing his gun to the head of the calves and shooting them in their brains was too gruesome for many.
Alarming: Scenes on the programme proved too much for some viewers and the channel received 58 complaints
Shocking: Graphic scenes of a 'knacker man' pointing his gun to the head of the calves and shooting them in their brains was too gruesome for some
Last night Channel 4 said it had received 58
complaints about the first episode of Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket, while
the media regulator Ofcom had received more than ten. Viewers described the
footage as ‘sick’, ‘horrific’ and one of the most upsetting things they had
seen on TV.
Channel 4 showed the slaughterman creeping up beside the calves, who were about a day old or younger, before pulling his trigger.One of the animals was seen collapsing, then the camera cut away to the face of the presenter as the other two were killed.
They were then taken away to be rendered down to tallow to fuel a Belgian power station. Mr Doherty was later seen planning to make his own range of meatballs in an attempt to tackle the ‘huge’ problem in the dairy industry of unwanted male calves.
'Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket' showed a dairy farmer slaughtering three young male calves at 9.30pm on Tuesday night
The programme, featuring farmer Jimmy Doherty, was explaining how more than 90,000 male dairy calves are shot at birth every year because there is no market for them
The TV farmer suggested slaughtered animals could instead be raised for veal.
He said British rose veal was ‘high welfare’ but because of previous cruelty concerns around this kind of meat, male calves were still viewed as a ‘waste product’.
The scenes, which aired at around 9.30pm on Tuesday, shocked many animal lovers.
One tweeted: ‘Harrowing scenes of male calves being euthanised on Jimmy and the Giant Supermarket.’ Another said: ‘Had to turn that Jimmy programme over, they were shooting male calves who were only a day old! Beautiful creatures, so sad! Feel sick.’ A third added: ‘One of the most upsetting things I’ve seen in ages. Just awful.’ Others described the scenes as ‘pretty horrific’ as another said the calves ‘looked like Bambi’.
Support: Animal charities backed the decision to show the scenes. The RSPCA said it was important to raise awareness about how food and drink is produced
Upset: Many distressed viewers took to Twitter to express their feelings. One described the scenes as 'sick'
But animal charities backed the decision to show the scenes. The RSPCA said it was important to raise awareness about how food and drink is produced.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: ‘We feel it is important to show the reality of this practice to offer viewers a rounded perspective of the issues the programme touches on.
‘The programme went out after the watershed, was preceded by a warning and the animals were killed humanely by an expert.’
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