14 JANUARY 2020
ICSA president Edmond Phelan has slammed Channel 4 for scheduling a programme for airing tonight (Tues) which condones criminal activity. “The programme ‘How to Steal Pigs’ incites animal extremists to invade farms and steal pigs apparently on the basis that this would be good for the pigs’ welfare. ICSA hopes that Channel 4 does not go ahead with this scandalous programme because inciting criminal activity would represent a new low for previously respected media.”
“This is grossly irresponsible and can be seen as an incitement to hatred of pig farmers. It beggars belief that any responsible media outlet would condone let alone glamourise blatant criminal activity. It is also grossly irresponsible in animal welfare terms because the biosecurity breach of invading a pig farm could potentially endanger the health of all pigs on the farm and potentially cause a disastrous disease outbreak. It is also unclear as to how the stolen pigs would be looked after. There is little doubt that portraying stealing pigs as consequence free is just plain wrong.
This follows on the back of last week’s offering from Channel 4 which gave a platform to George Monbiot to take delight in his dystopian vision straight out of a sci-fi horror movie where all food production is concentrated in the hands of a few multinational corporations, who control all human nutrition from laboratories made from ingredients that could have multiple unforeseen consequences for health.
This is before we even mention the obvious insanity of trusting global food security to a cartel of food oligarchs where the potential for anti-trust behaviour is obvious. Nor was there any balanced consideration of how this insane vision would devastate every rural community in the world and would almost certainly create famine in the very regions of the world where small scale livestock ownership is central to people’s survival.
It is one thing for a TV channel to have debate but it is entirely another for the channel to abuse its influential position to denigrate hard working farm families in a completely biased and dangerous fashion. ICSA is calling on Mitsubishi as major sponsor of Channel 4 to withdraw all funding unless this programme is pulled from air.”