BBC TV debate vexes New Zealand lamb

A discussion on BBC 3's Kill it, Cook it, Eat it programme last night which debated imports of lamb into the UK has left a sour taste in the mouths of those at Meat and Wool New Zealand.

Meat and Wool New Zealand market manager, John Mabb,(pictured) appeared on the programme and was briefly involved in the discussion on imports.

He said the debate was unbalanced because he was not given a chance during the programme to fully explain the reasons why it was necessary to import New Zealand lamb into the UK market.

Mabb said: "I had tried to explain at the time that there is so much production in Britain but loads of it gets exported. So, if imports were not coming in, the market would have very little to sell."

John said others involved in the discussion had a longer time on camera to give their side of the story, but said he had to sum up his thoughts in "all of 10 seconds."

He added that he was also interviewed for the programme in London, where he was able to fully explain his reasons.

However, he said none of that footage was broadcast in the final programme.

"I think the issues were a little bit glossed over, and as I was not able to answer in full I think the programme was unbalanced from that perspective," Mabb said.

The programme followed the slaughtering and butchery of lambs in front of an invited audience, who watched the process behind a glass window at John Mettrick's abattoir in Glossop.

The lamb was then butchered by John Mettrick, who explained the different lamb cuts and was then cooked by chef, Rachel Green and eaten by audience members.

Apart from the debate on imports, Mabb said he thought the programme was successful, especially in conveying how well the slaughterhouse workers respected the animals during the slaughtering process.

The last in the series of three programmes will be aired tonight at 10.30pm on BBC 3, showing the same process but this time with pigs.

The BBC were unavailable for comment.

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