17 August 2001
BBC denies pressure over bushmeat

By FWi staff

THE BBC has assured farmers leaders that it did not come under any political pressure to postpone a TV current affairs report about illegally imported meat.

An item on substandard illegal imports, widely believed to be the source of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, was due to be broadcast earlier this month.

But the item did not appear as scheduled on the first programme of the 4×4 series on 6 August.

It features Heathrow Airport freight handling expert Clive Lawrance, who told FARMERS WEEKLY in March that bushmeat was “a disease time bomb”.

Mr Lawrance has accused the Government of a lack of urgency in policing the volume of illegal meat entering the UK from Third World countries.

But the BBC has assured the Farmers Union of Wales that it did not come under pressure to pull the report because it was politically sensitive.

A spokesman for the programme explained that the item was replaced by a report on the death of two young girls who had been struck by a train.

“The inquest on the girls that day raised many issues of great public interest,” he explained.

The report on imported meat is now scheduled to be shown on 4×4 on BBC One on Monday, 20 August at 7.30pm.

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Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage