Meat industry backs BBC show

The UK meat industry has reacted positively to the first programme in the BBC 3 series Kill it, Cook it, Eat it which was watched by 734,000 people last night.

The programme featured the slaughter of cattle as well as the butchering and cooking processes.

An invited audience that included vegetarians, chefs and dedicated meat-eaters, watched the processes and ate the beef at the end of the show.

Filming took place at John Mettrick's abattoir in Glossop, Derbyshire, in a specially constructed TV studio, where John butchered the carcases for the programme.

John said he hoped the programme may change the way that people thought about meat and that it influenced them to ask questions about where the meat they ate came from.

He added: "I think Jane Downes, veterinary and technical director for the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS), did an absolutely unbelievable job.

"Anyone worried about food safety practices not being carried out before should have been really really reassured by what they saw and what she said."

John added the reaction from the meat trade had so far been positive including comments received from the Meat & Livestock Commission (MLC), ex-meat inspectors and slaughterhouse owners.

Sammy Morphet, who runs the slaughterhouse, CS Morphet and Sons near Liverpool, said he was delighted with the programme.

He said that he thought the general public on the programme were "flabbergasted" by the skill of the men and the end product turned out of the plant.

"If the programme doesn't change people's attitudes I would be very surprised," he added.

David Jasper, chairman of the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS), said he was initially a bit nervous about what angle the programme makers would take.

But he said he need not have worried because he believed it showed the general public the professionalism and the skill of the industry and emphasised the welfare and hygiene processes.

Speaking for the MLC, Guy Attenborough, said: "I believe it showed the professionalism, skill and care of the slaughter.

"I believe the MHS came across extremely well. I was pleased to see that all bar one of the audience were thoroughly enjoying eating the beef at the end of the process.

"But at the end of the day you can't glamorise the slaughter process and I am not sure that all our consumers are ready to or even want to see the slaughter process."

The next two programmes aired tonight and tomorrow at 10.30pm on BBC 3 will show an audience witnessing the same processes that took place before, but this time with lambs and pigs.

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