UK farming unions respond to Channel 4 programme ‘How to Steal Pigs and Influence People’
Tuesday, 14 January, 2020
A joint statement from NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and the Ulster Farmers Union said: “We are deeply concerned that Channel 4 is broadcasting this documentary, despite being contacted beforehand by those involved in the farming industry who know only too well the very real impact that this kind of criminal behaviour has on farmers, their families, their business and the health and welfare of their animals.
“We believe that the title and trailers for ‘How to Steal Pigs and Influence People’, with promotional wording talking about ‘daring farmyard heists,’ shows that the programme makers regard this illegal activity as trivial and humorous. Channel 4 has said the programme will not glamorise or condone illegal activity. We are interested to know how this statement is compatible with its own admission that the documentary will feature illegal activity by activists. We want to understand what efforts the broadcaster has gone to to pass information on to the police regarding any criminal behaviour it has either filmed or featured in the programme.
“Farms are not only businesses, they are also homes for families. It is quite astonishing that Channel 4 have chosen to commission and broadcast this programme given the dreadful impact that these attacks have on the health and wellbeing of those farmers targeted. We do not understand why farming families are being seen as fair game by the broadcaster and treated differently from other British citizens who all have the right to be protected from criminal behaviour and not to see those criminals given airtime and profile.
“We fully support the actions of the NPA who are taking legal advice regarding this programme.”