Countryfile: Farmer discusses slaughtering his animals
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Sunday night’s Countryfile saw BBC presenters Charlotte Smith and Steve Brown presenting the show from Yew Tree Farm in Coniston. The programme began with the duo meeting first-generation farmers who were looking at different ways they could make a new source of income. Elsewhere, Sean Fletcher paid a visit to a farm in Monmouthshire which had branched into music, while Tom Heap looked at whether plans for a greener, more environmentally friendly would bring benefits for the UK’s wildlife. However, just minutes into the show, viewers were left unimpressed by farmer John Watson, who spoke about “slaughtering” his animals.
Speaking to John about his farm, host Steve asked: “When you look at your farm, what’s it made up of?”
“Predominantly rock,” John replied. “But it’s still a farm.
“That cattle do most of the work up here. They keep the grass at an acceptable length.
“And trample the bracken where they can.”
John’s cows were free to roam among the landscape and lived out on the hills.
“That calves are born here,” the farmer continued. “I take them through to about three years old before they’re slaughtered.
“They are butchered here. The meat is prepared here and then it’s shipped out to all over the country.”
Steve chipped in: “And that must be something you have a little bit of pride in, surely?”
He continued: “Being able to know exactly what your customer is buying, knowing exactly every stage that the cow, which is now the meat has been through.”
“Absolutely,” John replied. “Because I can see when I’ve done my job correctly.
“There is the right amount of fat on that meat, there’s the right amount of meat there.
“It’s great to see it all the way through.”
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However, some viewers were left outraged by the segment, with some branding the segment “insensitive”.
One viewer raged: “Slaughtered, butchered here … he’s trying to make it sound such a pleasant place for the cows.” (sic)
Another penned: “Farmer talking about killing and butchering his cattle while they are standing right next to him. Some people are so insensitive.”
“Butcher klaxon,” a third wrote as a fourth said: “Herdwick sheep are ‘survivalists?’ You mean they have rifles and believe in a government conspiracy?”
A fifth tweeted: “So do they slaughter these sheep as well??”
Other viewers appeared to be “bored” while watching Sunday’s instalment as many seemed to be unimpressed with the segment about art.
“Christ this is boring,” one penned as another tweeted: “A bit boring tonight.”
A third pleaded: “Move on to the next bit, this is boring.”
While a fourth quizzed: “Are they deliberately trying to bore us to death?”
Countryfile returns on Sunday at 6.30pm on BBC One.
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